Netherlands are in danger of failing to qualify for a second straight major tournament after losing 2-0 to Bulgaria in a World Cup qual...
Netherlands are in danger of failing to qualify for a second straight major tournament after losing 2-0 to Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Dutch missed out on Euro 2016 and now find themselves in fourth place midway through their campaign to reach Russia, six points off the lead in Group A and three back of a potential playoff spot.
Danny Blind handed a first cap to 17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt, but the centre-back misplayed a long ball into the box, allowing Spas Delev to score just five minutes into his debut.
And Delev was again on target 15 minutes later, firing home from 20 yards out, and there was to be no way back for the Dutch.
With a brace against Hungary, Janusz Michallik and Sebastian Salazar look at Portugal, and Ronaldo's hopes for WCQ.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and Andre Silva added another as Portugal tightened their grip on second place in Group B with a 3-0 thrashing of Hungary.
Silva opened the scoring on 32 minutes. Ronaldo's run through the middle found Raphael Guerreiro on the left of the box, whose cross found an unmarked Silva at the goal mouth to tap in.
Ronaldo then collected his first of the night four minutes later. The Real Madrid star pounced onto a back-heeled pass from Silva outside of the box and lashed an unstoppable left-footed shot past Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi from 20 yards out.
And he completed his brace five minutes after the hour mark, expertly curling a free kick around Gulacsi before skipping inside the far post from a difficult angle on the left.
The victory gives the Euro 2016 champions 12 points from five matches, three behind first-placed Switzerland, who earned a 1-0 win at home over Latvia.
Josip Drmic scored the key goal in the 66th minute, heading home from five yards out following a cross from Admir Mehmedi.
Meanwhile, Andorra earned their first point of the campaign by holding Faroe Islands to a goalless draw.
The result ended Andorra's run of 58 competitive defeats stretching back more than 11 years.
Olivier Giroud scored twice as France stayed on top of Netherlands' Group A with a 3-1 win away to Luxembourg.
The Arsenal striker was on hand to score the opener when Djibril Sidibe cut the ball back to him in the 28th minute, though the hosts equalised four minutes later through Aurelien Joachim's penalty after Blaise Matuidi pulled down Daniel Da Mota.
But three minutes after that, Antoine Griezmann restored France's lead from the spot after Da Mota fouled Sidibe in the box.
Giroud headed home Benjamin Mendy's cross in the 77th-minute to wrap up the points.
Earlier, Emil Forsberg scored twice to help Sweden to a 4-0 romp over Belarus.
Forsberg opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 19 minutes, then doubled the lead four minutes into the second half, when his soft shot somehow trickled through the legs of goalkeeper Andrey Gorbunov.
Marcus Berg added a third goal 12 minute later by heading home after Gorbunov failed to reach a high cross, and Isaac Thelin completed the rout after a quickly taken free kick caught off Belarus.
The comfortable win put Sweden second in Group A, three back of leaders France, and one ahead of Bulgaria and three above Netherlands.
In Group H, Romelu Lukaku scored late to salvage a 1-1 draw for leaders Belgium at home against 10-man Greece.
Konstantinos Mitroglou stayed just onside to give the visitors the lead just after half-time, but Greece saw Panagiotis Tachtsidis sent off in the 65th minute for a second booking.
Lukaku found the equaliser with a wonderful goal in the 89th minute, controlling Dries Mertens' cross with his chest, spinning and shooting before the ball hit the ground.
The Everton striker would have had a stoppage-time winner as well if not for a fine save from Stefanos Kapino.