Two Giants Ride Their Late Fortunes
Bulgaria 2 – 2 Italy
Recently, it seems to be debut delight for forwards in the Euro 2016 Qualifiers as Brazil-born striker Eder got his first senior goal for the Azzuris which avoid defeat for the visitors at Vasil Levski Stadium. The draw extents their unbeaten run in qualification competitions to 45, inspiring. Bulgaria deserves huge applause for boldly giving a drive at the World Cup Champions of 2006. A magic charm got Italy upfront in the third minute, as Bertolacci’s in-swinging cross was fisted by the Bulgaria goalkeeper towards his own defender Minev, who tragically notched the ball into the wrong net. The home side’s equalizer came through Ivelin Popov who struck a sensational long drive that got Sirugu beaten. Six minutes later, Micanski finished off a fabulous team work goal that doubled the leader for Bulgaria. A towering strong header that was unstoppable, however Italy’s defending was dubious once again.
The Azzuris had 16 shot compared to their opponent’s 6, yet the fizzling Ciro Immobile could not get his job done. The Borussia Dortmund finisher carried along his poor league form to the international duty also, looking confidence-hit and puzzled on decent chances. Then came in Eder, who replaced Zaza upfront. The 28-year old Sampdoria striker brilliantly bamboozled a Bulgaria defender and hit a stunning curler right outside the penalty box to seal a stalemate for both sides. The Italians are now two points off Croatia in the second spot.
Netherlands 1 – 1 Turkey
The Oranje team are under hot soup as they could miss out from Euro 2016 competition. The home team started with more zeal and zest, especially with the pace of Memphis Depay along the left flank, however it was Turkey who took the lead in the 37th minute. Galatasaray forward, Burak Yılmaz silenced the Amsterdam Arena with a rocket strike in the 37th minute and the lead lasted till the end of the first half. In the following half, once again it was the team in orange who started brightly, series of attack where Volkan Babacan in the Turkish goal had to make six saves. It was heading towards a cluttering downfall, yet in the 92nd minute of the match, Klaas Jan Huntelaar managed to salvage a point to somewhat keep their qualification dream alive. Wesley Sneijder lashed his trademark lighting strike and only a mildest of flick from the head of Huntelaar got Babacan defeated. Guus Hiddick erupted with celebrations but he knows he still has lots of work to do. His side are two points ahead of Turkey in the third place, conversely are five points below Iceland who are in second, while Czech Republic remain unbeaten with 13 points, leading the exhilarating Group A. Next the Netherland travel to Latvia, even a draw would result in sacking orders for Hiddick. He would be hoping that by then fantasy premier league favourite Robin Van Persie will be fit and available for selection.
Belgium 5 – 0 Cyprus
Croatia 1 – 0 Norway
Israel 3 – 0 Wales
Andorra 0 – 3 Bosnia Herzegovina
Kazakhstan 0 – 3 Iceland
Azerbaijan 2a – 0 Malta
Czech Republic 1 – 1 Latvia