Wales edged out Cyprus in a crunch Euro 2016 qualifier with a closely fought 1-0 win thanks to a Gareth Bale header in the 82nd minute. It kept them top of the table and meant they need only three more points, with three games to play, to all but qualify for their first major tournament since 1958. They face Israel on Sunday hoping to do just that.
Belgium and Israel also secured home victories in the other main fixtures in group B against Bosnia and Andorra respectively. Belgium’s 3-1 win means they remain three points behind Wales in second and Israel’s comfortable 4-0 score line allows them to hold onto the play-off spot in third.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
There was a shock in group A, as the Netherlands went down 1-0 to Iceland thanks to a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty early in the second half. Iceland - who have a population that is less than half the size of last night’s host city, Amsterdam - will be ecstatic at the result.
It leaves the Dutch struggling, with their only saving grace being Latvia’s late equaliser against Turkey allowing them to hold on to their play-off spot for now. The other big game in the group saw the Czech Republic come from behind to beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in Plzen leaving them two points behind leaders Iceland.
Article continues below
Elsewhere, group H saw Croatia slip up with a 0-0 draw at home to Azerbaijan. Due to their superior goal difference though, they managed to hold on to the top spot in the group even though Italy bettered their result.
Southampton’s Graziano Pelle scored the only goal in their 1-0 defeat of Malta. Norway remain in third after an important away win over fourth-placed Bulgaria.
How the rest of the home nations are shaping up
Scotland fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Georgia to leave their hopes of qualification in the balance.
Gordan Strachan's men dropped to fourth in their group following the Republic of Ireland's 4-0 win over Gibraltar.
The Scots face Germany on Monday night and will be quietly confident of sneaking a result after losing by a single goal in the away fixture earlier this year.
England have become the first nation to book their place at France with a 6-0 win over San Marino. They then go on to play Switzerland on Tuesday which will likely be much more important to the Swiss, giving manager Roy Hodgson the chance to experiment with other options.
Northern Ireland's 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands put them top of group F with three games left, after Hungary's 0-0 draw with Romania. A win at home to Hungary would see Michael O'Neill's men reach their first ever European championships.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms