Iceland stun Netherlands in Euro 2016 qualifier

Controversial penalty decides game in Amsterdam; Italy, Czech Republic seal close wins.

    Iceland stun Netherlands in Euro 2016 qualifier
    Netherlands are third in the group, six points behind Czech Republic [EPA]

    Iceland moved a step closer to qualifying for the Euro 2016 tournament as a controversial penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson saw them upset a 10-man Netherlands side 1-0.

    The 51st-minute spot kick looked to be a harsh decision against Gregory van der Wiel, who got to the ball with his tackle as Birkir Bjarnason tumbled over his feet.

    Results
    Cyprus 0-1 Wales
    Czech Rep 2-1 Kazakhstan
    Netherlands 0-1 Iceland
    Turkey 1-1 Latvia
    Belgium 3-1 Bosnia-Herz
    Israel 4-0 Andorra
    Azerbaijan 0-0 Croatia
    Bulgaria 0-1 Norway
    Italy 1-0 Malta

    But Sigurdsson squeezed the penalty under Dutch goal-keeper Jasper Cillessen to take the North Atlantic island nation to the brink of a first major championship appearance.

    Iceland completed a double over the Dutch in Group A and moved to 18 points, their lead in the standings staying at two over the second-placed Czech Republic who came from behind to beat Kazakhstan 2-1.

    In another group match, two late second half headers from substitute Milan Skoda gave the Czech Republic a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Kazakhstan to keep the home side in the hunt to qualify directly.

    The Czechs, remain two points behind Iceland in Group A after dominating much of the possession but had trouble breaking down a determined Kazak defence.

    Yuri Logvinenko put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute when he out-jumped his marker and gave a sprawling Petr Cech no chance.

    The home side levelled in the 72nd minute when Borek Dockal lofted a cross that substitute Skoda headed home for his first international goal.

    Skoda added his second in the 86th minute when he rose to head a Josef Sural cross into the net.

    Elsewhere, former World Cup winners Italy sneaked a 1-0 win over Malta.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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