Highlights: Poland and Russia qualify, Croatia must wait

Poland and Russia are the latest teams to book finals spots, but Wales ensured Croatia were not one of them.

Poland celebrate qualifying
AFP via Getty Images

Group C

Belarus 1-2 Netherlands
Georginio Wijnaldum's excellent first-half double took the Netherlands within tantalising reach of the finals. But they did not have it all their own way in Minsk, and could have been behind when Denis Laptev fired wide. Wijnaldum headed in Quincy Promes's cross before a brilliant long-range second. Stanislav Drahun got one back early in the second half, but the Dutch held on and will qualify with a draw in Northern Ireland in their next game.

Highlights: Belarus 1-2 Netherlands
Highlights: Belarus 1-2 Netherlands

Estonia 0-3 Germany
Germany, level with the Netherlands on 15 points, have opened up a three-point gap to third-placed Northern Ireland in Group C. An unpredictable match saw Emre Can dismissed in the 14th minute for a late challenge. However, ten-man Germany readjusted and İlkay Gündoğan converted soon after the interval. He added another with a deflected shot before substitute Timo Werner tucked in a clever third.

Group E

Wales 1-1 Croatia
Croatia missed the chance to confirm their finals spot after being pegged back by Wales, whose own hopes are boosted by the point. Nikola Vlašić finished off an intricate move to put Croatia ahead, firing in via the post, and Ivan Perišić was denied by a fine save from Wayne Hennessey. But Gareth Bale levelled on the stroke of half-time, coolly converting Ben Davies' pass.

Highlights: Wales 1-1 Croatia
Highlights: Wales 1-1 Croatia

Hungary 1-0 Azerbaijan
Hungary moved into second, two points above Slovakia but with one game fewer to play, after defeating Azerbaijan. Emil Balayev's sprawling save denied Máté Vida early on, but the single goal separating the sides at the final whistle came in the tenth minute when Mihály Korhut fired in from distance.

Group G

Poland 2-0 North Macedonia
Poland got the win they needed to reach the finals, but it took 74 minutes to make their breakthrough. Robert Lewandowski cut inside and before he could shoot, newly introduced Przemysław Frankowski stole in and poked the ball through the legs of Stole Dimitrievski. Six minutes later, another substitute, Arkadiusz Milik, made it 2-0 with a fine strike. North Macedonia are five points off second-placed Austria, whom they must beat next in Vienna.

Highlights: Poland 2-0 North Macedonia
Highlights: Poland 2-0 North Macedonia

Slovenia 0-1 Austria
Austria strengthened their grip on second spot in Group G following a hard-fought victory in Ljubljana. The only goal arrived on 21 minutes when Stefan Posch headed home a Valentino Lazaro corner. There was further misery for Slovenia when substitute Denis Popović was sent off following a clash with Marcel Sabitzer; like North Macedonia, they are now five points behind Austria.

Group I

Cyprus 0-5 Russia
Russia only needed a point to book qualification and stormed to all three. They dominated from the off and on nine minutes Denis Cheryshev dispossessed a defender, advanced and smashed the ball in from a tight angle. Cheryshev then cut back for Magomed Ozdoev to make it 2-0 and Cyprus had Kostas Laifis sent off shortly afterwards. Late on, Artem Dzyuba struck for the ninth time in qualifying, one behind only Israel’s Eran Zahavi, and he then set up Aleksandr Golovin before Cheryshev completed the scoring.

Highlights: Cyprus 0-5 Russia
Highlights: Cyprus 0-5 Russia

Kazakhstan 0-2 Belgium
Belgium, who qualified on Thursday, made it eight wins from eight. Michy Batshuayi tapped home the opener from a Dennis Praet cross in the first period, before Thomas Meunier doubled the lead from Eden Hazard's exquisite delivery, switched from left to right, after the interval. The hosts started with intensity and purpose, causing the visitors problems, but as Belgium tightened their grip, they cruised to victory.

Scotland 6-0 San Marino
Play-off-bound Scotland's three-game losing streak in the group came to an end with a convincing victory. The game was over as a spectacle by half-time thanks to a John McGinn hat-trick. The home side continued on the front foot after the break and completed the victory through Lawrence Shankland, debutant Stuart Findlay and Stuart Armstrong.

Top