The stars of the World Cup had to dive into the depths of the match for qualifying for the European Championship. Fans have bought their Belgium Euro Cup Tickets and hoping for their favorite players to perform well in the tournament.
Last year Croatia team was World Cup finalist, they almost lost points against Azerbaijan, only to be saved by a curling shot by and rej Kramaric and a 2-1 victory. Belgium needed two goals from Eden Hazard to defeat Russia 3-1 after a costly mistake by Thibaut Courtois that allowed the Russians to return to the match.
The Netherlands failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments but showed no signs of nervousness in a 4-0 win over Belarus. Memphis Depay gave the Dutch a quick lead and finished with two goals and two assists.
The Battle of Belgium:
Even after the injury of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne, Belgium took a big step forward in qualifying by defeating Russia, its main rival Group I.
The first goal of Yuri Tielemans for Belgium was canceled when Courtois gave the ball in a rare mistake that allowed the Russian Denis Cheryshev to score. A new Russian team struggled to keep up with Hazard and when defender Yuri Zhirkov tried to stumble, he eventually tripped the Belgian and awarded a converted penalty by Hazard.
Belgium could have scored more, but Michy Batshuayi hit the post after clearing another shot.
Since losing to France in the World Cup final, Croatia has struggled to replicate the form of its biggest tournament performance. The relegation to the League of Nations last year was followed by a nested victory over Azerbaijan in Group E.
Azerbaijan – by far the lowest-ranked among the 12 hosts of the European Championship next year, took the lead with a nice solo goal. Ramil Sheydaev sprinted on the right flank on 19 before passing the ball over the goalkeeper.
Azerbaijan then sat down to defend, frustrating Croatia, which got closer with headers of Andrej Kramaric and Luka Modric. Croatia finally finished in 44th place thanks to Borna Barisic’s quick reactions.
A moment of Kramaric’s address eventually broke Azerbaijan’s tenacious defense as he passed on the left flank and bowed the ball to the far post.
“It was difficult, more than we expected,” Coach Zlatko Dalic said. “We were patient, persistent and deserved this win.”
The violence preceded the other Group E match when visiting Hungarian fans clashed with Slovak fans and the police. Slovakia beat Hungary 2-0.
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