World Cup Qualifying roundup: Wales, ROI fall to defeat, Turkey shock Netherlands

Republic of Ireland and Wales were both defeated on the opening night of Europe’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Wales took the lead against Belgium but goals from Thorgan Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku led the world’s top-ranked side to a 3-1 win.

It was a similar story for Ireland, who went down 3-2 against Serbia despite opening the scoring.

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Alan Browne headed the Republic ahead but Dusan Vlahovic levelled before Aleksander Mitrovic struck twice in the closing stages.

It was goals galore in the evening’s early kick off when Turkey shocked the Netherlands to take a 4-2 victory.

A Burak Yilmaz hat trick led the Turks to victory after Netherlands came from 3-0 down to make it 3-2 in the late stages.

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In Group D, France were held by Ukraine as Antoine Griezmann’s opener was cancelled out by a Presnel Kimpembe own goal, and Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki scored twice as Finland shared four goals with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

In Wales’ group, a Thomas Soucek hat-trick led Czech Republic to an easy 6-2 win over Estonia.

Ireland’s groupmates Portugal stuttered to a 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan. They needed a Maksim Medvedev own goal despite Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line against the Eastern European minnows.

Elsewhere, Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard captained Norway to a 3-0 victory over Gibraltar and Russia eased past Malta 3-1.

Sandi Lovric scored the only goal of the game as Slovenia defeated Croatia and a Stevan Jovetic brace led Montenegro to a 2-1 win over Latvia. Cyprus’s match against Slovakia finished goalless.

World Cup Qualifying (UEFA) results in full: Turkey 4-2 Netherlands, Belgium 3-1 Wales, Cyprus 0-0 Slovakia, Estonia 2-6 Czech Republic, Finland 2-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina, France 1-1 Ukraine, Gibraltar 0-3 Norway, Latvia 1-2 Montenegro, Malta 1-3 Russia, Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan, Serbia 3-2 Republic of Ireland, Slovenia 1-0 Croatia

Cover Photo: FIFA World Cup 2014 by Mariya Butd used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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