Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Euro 2020: Germany edge thriller over Netherlands, Eden Hazard celebrates century with goal for Belgium, Croatia lose in Hungary

Joachim Low's side let 2-0 lead slip before Nico Schulz scores late winner, while Belgium claim win over Cyprus and Croatia slump to defeat

Nico Schulz celebrates his winning goal for Germany against the Netherlands. AFP
Nico Schulz celebrates his winning goal for Germany against the Netherlands. AFP

Nico Schulz sealed a thrilling 3-2 win for Germany over the Netherlands in a see-saw Euro 2020 qualifier as Joachim Low's new-look line-up survived a severe test on Sunday.

Elsewhere, World Cup finalists Croatia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat in Hungary, and Eden Hazard celebrated a century of caps with the opening goal in Belgium's 2-0 win over Cyprus.

A revamped Germany raced into a 2-0 lead in Amsterdam with thrilling strikes from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry but the hosts struck back with a second half header from Matthijs De Ligt before Memphis Depay pounced for an equaliser on 63 minutes.

The four-time world champions were put under immense pressure from a Netherlands side seeking a winner but the visitors, who were booed by their own fans in a 1-1 friendly draw against Serbia last Wednesday, snatched victory in the 90th minute through 25-year-old Schulz.

The Hoffenheim midfielder, who made his international in August, tapped home a loose ball after a tireless Sane had taken the defence with him on a run into the box.

The win comes after Low took an axe to Germany's squad ahead of the qualifying campaign in the aftermath of last year's calamitous World Cup elimination, when he told Bayern Munich trio Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels they had no future in the national side.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer may also come under pressure for his place after De Ligt beat him with a flying header just after the restart. Neuer, 32, was also slow to react as Depay pounced for the equaliser.

Dutch 'keeper Jasper Cillesen was left with little chance after Gnabry ended his mazy run by outwitting Virgil Van Dijk before sending a rasping long-range effort into the bottom corner in the early action.

Hazard celebrates in style

Eden Hazard scored Belgium's opening goal against Cyprus on his 100th appearance. Reuters
Eden Hazard scored Belgium's opening goal against Cyprus on his 100th appearance. Reuters

Chelsea star Hazard celebrated his 100th cap by scoring the opener in their 2-0 win over Cyprus in Group I with Michy Batshuayi grabbing the second as Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois went largely untested in the Belgian goal.

Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric was powerless to stop beaten World Cup finalists Croatia from slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Hungary in Group E on Sunday as Mate Patkai notched a 76th minute winner in Budapest.

Croatia had struggled against Azerbaijan in their opening qualifier last Thursday before escaping with a 2-1 win, but they made the perfect start in the Hungarian capital when Ante Rebic put them ahead on 13 minutes.

But Hungary pulled level through Adam Szalai's fifth goal in as many games and with a quarter of an hour left, 31-year-old Patkai scored his first international goal to pull off a famous victory.

Scotland got back to winning ways with an uninspiring 2-0 win at perennial makeweights San Marino, following an embarrassing defeat at Kazakhstan in their opening qualifier.

"It was a wee bit nervy, it's been a tough few days for everyone," admitted Scotland manager Alex McLeish.

Updated: March 25, 2019 10:04 AM

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