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Slovakia battle back to draw with Netherlands

Slovakia 2-2 Netherlands
Tomáš Malec struck a 76th-minute equaliser in Senec as the hosts fought back to prevent the Jong Oranje pulling away in Group 3.

Adam Zreľák put the hosts in front in Senec
Adam Zreľák put the hosts in front in Senec ©SFZ

Slovakia refused to let the Netherlands pull away at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 3 as they fought back to earn a point in Senec.

With the teams locked together on nine points at kick-off, it was the hosts who appeared to be taking the initiative when Adam Zreľák put them ahead. However, goals from Luc Castaignos and Tonny Trindade de Vilhena looked to have given the Dutch the points before Tomáš Malec's equaliser ensured things stayed as they were, although Albert Stuivenberg's men do have a match in hand.

Slovakia started brightly, Ondrej Duda testing Warner Hahn with a free-kick before Karol Mészáros flashed a shot off target from close range. Slovakia went ahead in the 37th minute when Zreľák shrugged off a defender on the edge of the area before burying a shot into the corner.

It stayed that way until half-time, but on 52 minutes Castaignos scored from close range after Stefano Denswil had looped a ball into the penalty area. The Dutch went in front in the 66th minute after Norbert Gyömber brought down Nathan Aké in the area, allowing Trindade de Vilhena to score from the spot.

Patrik Hrošovský's great run and cross from the right afforded substitute Malec the simplest of finishes to equalise, and Slovakia were unlucky not to win it after Jürgen Locadia received a red card for the Netherlands in the 79th minute.