Skip to main content

Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Bale edges Wales closer, Iceland dent Netherlands' qualification hopes

Gareth Bale's late header took Wales to within one win of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification as Chris Coleman's side saw off Cyprus 1-0 in Nicosia.

Wales were frustrated throughout by resolute defending but Bale was on hand to head home the 82nd-minute winner on Thursday - moving Chris Colemen's men closer to their first major tournament since 1958.

Bale's header - a sublime effort from Jazz Richards' superb delivery - was the Real Madrid star's sixth goal in seven matches in qualifying as Wales stayed three points clear of Belgium in Group B.

Manchester City's latest big-money signing Kevin De Bruyne impressed for Belgium, who came from behind to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1.

After Marouane Fellaini had cancelled out Edin Dzeko's early opener, De Bruyne gave Belgium the lead on the stroke of half-time with a superb strike, and Eden Hazard added a third from the spot late on.

Israel - third in the standings - kept up the pressure on Belgium courtesy of a 4-0 rout against lowly Andorra.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's second-half penalty maintained Iceland's position atop Group A as they triumphed 1-0 over 10-man Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Netherlands were dealt a blow midway through the first half when newly-appointed skipper Arjen Robben limped off through injury, before Bruno Martins-Indi saw red for an off-the ball incident.

And Danny Blind's forgettable debut as Netherlands boss was compounded after the restart, Gregory van der Wiel bringing down Birkir Bjarnason - with Sigurdsson stepping up to convert the resulting spot-kick.

Turkey's slim hopes of securing an automatic promotion place from Group A are all but over after they conceded in stoppage time to draw 1-1 at home to Latvia.

Second-placed Czech Republic clinched a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan thanks to a late brace from substitute Milan Skoda.

Italy are level with Group H leaders Croatia after overcoming minnows Malta 1-0.

Graziano Pelle's second-half goal was enough for the Italians to improve to 15 points, the same amount as Croatia, who were held to a goalless draw by Azerbaijan.

Elsewhere in that group, Norway won 1-0 in Bulgaria.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1