Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland, Russia 4-0 Scotland, Slovakia 1-1 Wales – as it happened

Rob Smyth on 10 October 2019

Scotland were plugged 4-0 in Russia. Let’s not dwell on that one, eh.

Wales took a useful point from their match in Slovakia, with the surprise selection Kieffer Moore scoring his first international goal. I’ve probably got this wrong, because I’m not the permutations man I used to be, but I suspect Wales will be okay if they win two of their three remaining games - Croatia and Hungary at home, Azerbaijan away. They need three wins to be absolutely certain. I think.

Northern Ireland were 11 minutes away from a famous victory and minus one minute from a famous draw, but those late Netherlands goals mean qualification for Euro 2020 is out of their hands. It was one of the more nobler defeats, not that this will be any consolation.

Netherlands’ Depay celebrates after their 2-1 win over Northern Ireland.
Netherlands’ Depay celebrates after their 2-1 win over Northern Ireland. Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters


Final scores

Group C

  • Belarus 0-0 Estonia
  • Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland

Group E

  • Slovakia 1-1 Wales
  • Croatia 3-0 Hungary

Group G

  • Latvia 0-3 Poland
  • North Macedonia 2-1 Slovenia
  • Austria 3-1 Israel

Group I

  • Kazakhstan 1-2 Cyprus
  • Russia 4-0 Scotland
  • Belgium 9-0 San Marino

Peep peep! It has finished Slovakia 1-1 Wales, Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland and Russia 4-0 Scotland.

Slovakia 1-1 Wales Dan James misses a decent chance for Wales inthe last minute of added time, slicing wide from 12 yards after a good break.

GOAL! Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland (Depay 90+3)

Memphis Depay seals victory with a tender, precise finish from a very tight angle. Northern Ireland don’t deserve that.

The substitute Luuk de Jong scores a strange goal from 0.1 yards after a nifty bit of footwork. It looked like he might have been a fraction offside, though we haven’t seen a replay. There’s no VAR anyway.


GOAL! Netherlands 2-1 Northern Ireland (L de Jong 90+1)

Football, bugger off. That is so cruel.

De Jong of Netherlands scores his sides second goal.
De Jong of Netherlands scores his sides second goal. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/Shutterstock


Netherlands 1-1 Northern Ireland Four minutes of added time. Northern Ireland have been immense.

Slovakia 1-1 Wales We’re into six minutes of added time in Trnava. Gareth Bale should have been sent off just now, apparently, though I’m not sure exactly what happened because I’m glued to events in Rotterdam.

GOAL! Russia 4-0 Scotland (Golovin 84)

For the first time in their history (I think), Scotland are facing consecutive 4-0 defeats.

Netherlands 1-1 Northern Ireland The in-form substitute Donyell Malen has missed a sitter, heading wide from six yards. There are six minutes remaining.

Slovakia 1-1 Wales Six minutes remaining in Trnava. A draw isn’t a bad result for Wales, especially as it would mean they have a superior head-to-head record against Slovakia. That could be decisive.

“For the bad-weather-wanting Matt Dony, here’s my Hurricane XI,” says Matt Dony. “Only 8, because three got struck by lightning:

  1. David de Hail
  2. Cyclone Mings
  3. Fitz Squall
  4. Gust Poyet
  5. Wally Downespour
  6. Tornado Andre Flo
  7. Howard Gayle
  8. Hurry Kane.

GOAL! Netherlands 1-1 Northern Ireland (Depay 80)

Memphis Depay shatters the fairytale, toebunging past Peacock-Farrell from eight yards. That was a really good finish, because he took the shot much earlier than expected.

Depay celebrates after scoring the equaliser for the Netherlands.
Depay celebrates after scoring the equaliser for the Netherlands. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images


The substitute Josh Magennis has given Northern Ireland the lead! The goal came from some absurd defending from the Netherlands, with miskicks in the penalty box from first de Ligt and then Blind. Dallas picked up the loose ball on the right of the area, held off Blind and stood up a good cross towards the six-yard line. Magennis towered above everyone and steered a header into the corner.


GOAL! Netherlands 0-1 Northern Ireland (Magennis 75)

Oh my days!!!!

Magennis of Northern Ireland scores the opening goal.
Magennis of Northern Ireland scores the opening goal. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/Shutterstock


Latest scores

Group C

  • Belarus 0-0 Estonia (full time)
  • Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland

Group E

  • Slovakia 1-1 Wales
  • Croatia 3-0 Hungary

Group G

  • Latvia 0-2 Poland
  • North Macedonia 2-0 Slovenia
  • Austria 2-1 Israel

Group I

  • Kazakhstan 1-2 Cyprus (full time)
  • Russia 3-0 Scotland
  • Belgium 6-0 San Marino

GOAL! Russia 3-0 Scotland (Dzyuba 70) The play-offs it is for Scotland.

Dzyuba makes it 3-0 Russia.
Dzyuba makes it 3-0 Russia. Photograph: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters


“Hi again, Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Of course the best, and longest running (since 1872) Scottish comedy of all is … ach, you know the rest. It’s just as well we can laugh at ourselves, we get enough practice, eh?”

At least Willie Miller and Alan Hansen didn’t run into each other the night.

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland Jonny Evans heads off the line from Wijnaldum! Nineteen minutes remaining, and for the first time it feels like a goal is imminent.

“Continuing the Radiohead theme, Rob — in the mid-2000s, I went home to Inverness,” says Simon Sylvester. “Walking home from the pub, I became aware of a large group of beery men at the far end of the high street, propping each other up and bellowing what I first assumed to be a football chant. I crossed the road to avoid them and went about my way. Halfway home, I caught myself humming the same tune, and realised that the drunken mob weren’t howling out some tribal statement, but were in fact singing Idioteque. Come on Scotland, by the way.”

Slovakia 1-1 Wales Every time I check on this game, Slovakia are in possession just outside the Wales area. But it’s still 1-1, and that would be a useful result for Wales.

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland There are 25 minutes remaining in Rotterdam. Northern Ireland are looking a bit tired, but they have defended with outstanding endeavour and intelligence.

GOAL! Russia 2-0 Scotland (Ozdoev 59)

Two in three minutes in Moscow. That was a screamer from Magomed Ozdoev, launched past David Marshall from 25 yards.

Ozdoev celebrates scoring Russia’s second.
Ozdoev celebrates scoring Russia’s second. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters


GOAL! Russia 1-0 Scotland (Dzyuba 57)

Scotland were having a good spell, but now they’re behind to a goal from the hulking Artem Dzyuba.

Dzyuba celebrates after scoring the first for Russia against Scotland.
Dzyuba celebrates after scoring the first for Russia against Scotland. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images


Latest scores

Group C

  • Belarus 0-0 Estonia (full time)
  • Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland

Group E

  • Slovakia 1-1 Wales
  • Croatia 3-0 Hungary

Group G

  • Latvia 0-2 Poland
  • North Macedonia 1-0 Slovenia
  • Austria 2-1 Israel

Group I

  • Kazakhstan 1-2 Cyprus (full time)
  • Russia 0-0 Scotland
  • Belgium 6-0 San Marino

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland The pressure is increasing in Rotterdam, with Northern Ireland looking a bit frazzled for the first time.

Slovakia 1-1 Wales “Are there any typhoons near Slovakia?” pleads Wales fan Matt Dony. “I once played a lovely acoustic arrangement of Everything In Its Right Place at a folk night. It went down exactly as well as you’re imagining.”

One for the therapist, I’m sensing.

GOAL! Austria 2-1 Israel (Hinteregger 56)

Austria’s Hinteregger scores their second goal.
Austria’s Hinteregger scores their second goal. Photograph: Leonhard Föger/Reuters


GOAL! North Macedonia 1-0 Slovenia (Elmas 50) One-nil!

GOAL! Slovakia 1-1 Wales (Kukka 53)

That’s put the ‘ach’ in Slovakia. Wales have been pegged back in Trnava, with Juraj Kucka hitting a cracking 20-yard volley past Wayne Hennessey.

Kucka of Slovakia scores the equaliser.
Kucka of Slovakia scores the equaliser. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Shutterstock


Scottish comedy department “I want to thank you and everyone else for your recommendations,” says Matt Burtz. “As an enormous Frasier fan, Brian Cox will first and foremost be Daphne’s father in my eyes. The less said about Jane Leeves’ non-Mancunian accent, however, the better.”

At least Simon’s accent was perfect, eh? Oh.

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland There’s a long way to go - 43 minutes plus added time - but a draw would be an immense result for Northern Ireland, and mean that victory s in the return match at Windsor Park next month would guarantee qualification.


“Forget The National Anthem, Rob: Holland’s forwards have presumably been listening to How to Disappear Completely in the big earphones pre-game,” says Woolie Madden.

Peep peep! The second halves are under way.

“Evening Rob,” says Gerry Scott. “A word of recommendation for Bob Servant, a Broughty Ferry-set sitcom starring the great Brian Cox, an actor who seems able to do anything he puts his mind to.”

Can he play centre-forward? (See United, Manchester.)

Half-time scores

Group C

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland

Group E

Slovakia 0-1 Wales

Croatia 3-0 Hungary

Group G

Latvia 0-2 Poland

North Macedonia 0-0 Slovenia

Austria 1-1 Israel

Group I

Russia 0-0 Scotland

Belgium 6-0 San Marino

“Bob,” writes my colleague Tom Lutz. “By my calculations, that is Zahavi’s 10th goal in seven games for Israel in qualifying. And he has scored 26 goals in 22 club games. Conclusion: he is good at scoring goals.”

Three months at Old Trafford would cure him of that.

Half time: Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland A brilliant 45 minutes for Northern Ireland. Bailey Peacock-Farrell barely had a save to make, and although the Netherlands had all of the ball, they played with a surprising listlessness.

GOAL! Belgium 6-0 San Marino (Tielemans 45+1) There are no easy games in international football.

GOAL! Croatia 3-0 Hungary (Petkovic 42) Bryan Petkovic’s second goal has sealed victory for Croatia, already.

Petkovic celebrates scoring for Croatia.
Petkovic celebrates scoring for Croatia. Photograph: Antonio Bronic/Reuters


GOAL! Belgium 5-0 San Marino (Alderweireld 43) It’s safe to say, without tempting fate, that Belgium have qualified for Euro 2020.


Austria 1-1 Israel (Lazaro 41)

Belgium 4-0 San Marino (Lukaku 41)

Slovakia 0-1 Wales A big appeal for a penalty is turned down after a tackle on Jonny Williams in the Slovakia area. That could have gone either way.

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland This is like a training exercise: attack and defence, invasion and repulsion. So far Northern Ireland are winning, because they’re drawing.

Ferguson tackles Wiljnaldum.
Ferguson tackles Wiljnaldum. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images


“Given Azerbaijan’s draw against Croatia during the last international break, every single team in this group is Wales’s rival for second place,” says Jonny Bull. “First might well be up for grabs by the end of the weekend too. If Croatia and Hungary could both lose, with Croatia losing their entire squad ready for Sunday, that would be ideal.”


Group G

Austria 0-1 Israel (Zahavi 34)

Group I

Belgium 3-0 San Marino (Brolli og 35)

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland The Netherlands are not playing particularly well. Their tempo has been too slow, and I suppose it’s not beyond the realms that there might be a soupçon of complacency.

GOAL! Belgium 2-0 San Marino (Lukaku 28, Chadli 31) Belgium are heading to ... somewhere.

Lukaku celebrates scoring the opener for Belgium.
Lukaku celebrates scoring the opener for Belgium. Photograph: François Lenoir/Reuters


“I was at a Limmy show earlier this year which was fantastic, and I would recommend his book too,” says Simon McMahon. “He told some brilliant stories about working with Charlie Brooker for Screenwipe and Black Mirror in particular. The sketch show Burnistoun is in a similar vein, and I enjoyed Two Doors Down as well.”

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland Stuart Dallas makes a vital block from Gini Wijnaldum’s blooter, and Daley Blind slashes the rebound wide.

GOAL! Croatia 2-0 Hungary (Petkovic 24)

GOAL! Slovakia 0-1 Wales (Moore 25)

Wales have grabbed the lead! Daniel James stands up a nice cross from the left, and Kieffer Moore hangs in the air for an age before planting a fine header into the corner. That’s quite a story: it’s his first goal for Wales, on his competitive debut.

Mooreheads home for Wales.
Mooreheads home for Wales. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Shutterstock
And celebrates scoring his first international goal.
And celebrates scoring his first international goal. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Shutterstock


Russia 0-0 Scotland Not too much to report. Russia have been the better side, though David Marshall’s gloves are not dirty.

Slovakia 0-0 Wales It’s been a slightly nervous start from Wales. Ethan Ampadu made one brilliant, goal-saving block, it says here, while Gareth Bale has been booked.

Bale receives a booking.
Bale receives a booking. Photograph: Vladimír Šimícek/AFP via Getty Images


Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland We’ve had 18 minutes in Rotterdam, and the Netherlands still haven’t created anything of note. It’s been a fine start for Northern Ireland.

Latest scores

Group C

  • Belarus 0-0 Estonia (full time)
  • Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland

Group E

  • Slovakia 0-0 Wales
  • Croatia 1-0 Hungary

Group G

  • Latvia 0-2 Poland
  • North Macedonia 0-0 Slovenia
  • Austria 0-0 Israel

Group I

  • Kazakhstan 1-2 Cyprus (full time)
  • Russia 0-0 Scotland
  • Belgium 0-0 San Marino

“I count six players from the Championship and three top-flight bench warmers in that starting XI for Wales, plus Bale and James,” says Phil Grey. “Maybe the future looks bright, but I want Euro 16 all over again please, except for the Portugal result of course.”

GOAL! Latvia 0-2 Lewandowski (Lewandowski 13) A win tonight would keep Robert Lewandowski well on course for qualification.

Slovakia 0-0 Wales “I’d rather see Harry Wilson start,” says Matt Dony, “but he’s a useful option from the bench if things aren’t working out after 60 mins. (Spoiler alert: They won’t be.) I love him because a) he’s owned by Liverpool; b) he LOVES a 25 yarder; and c) he looks incredibly like Torres. As an ‘amusing’ side point, I was also in Spain this time last year, when Spain comprehensively outplayed Wales. I watched it in a bar, along with Master Dony (six at the time), who loudly declared ‘I HATE Sergio Ramos.’ Is there a word that means proud-but-scared?”


Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland It’s been a reasonably good start for Northern Ireland. They’ve barely had a kick, but their defence has looked solid. There’s always a danger, in games like this, that you can be down 2-0 down after 10 minutes.

GOAL! Latvia 0-1 Poland I shan’t insult your intelligence by naming the goalscorer.

Lewandowski celebrates scoring Poland’s opener.
Lewandowski celebrates scoring Poland’s opener. Photograph: Ints Kalninš/Reuters


GOAL! Croatia 1-0 Hungary (Modric 5) An early goal in Wales’ group. It’s good news for Wales, in fact, as Hungary are among their rivals for the second qualifying spot.

Modric celebrates after putting Croatia ahead.
Modric celebrates after putting Croatia ahead. Photograph: Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images


Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland Paddy McNair is doing a man-to-man marking job on Frenkie de Jong. It’s been a fairly quiet start.

“Hi Rob,” says Matt Burtz. I think the best part of this new qualifying system is being introduced to British TV comedies that this American has never heard of. If you have any others with a Scottish flavour to recommend, I’m all ears.”

Limmy isn’t to all tastes, but he’s a twisted genius.

Netherlands 0-0 Northern Ireland Virgil van Dijk’s 25-yard volley goes approximately 25 yards wide.

“You mean to say that’s not Scotland’s midfield?!” sniffs Simon McMahon.

It’s time for the national anthems at the various grounds. My dream of some flunky getting the wrong end of the stick and blasting out the pervy saxophone of The National Anthem by Radiohead has not yet come true.

“Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Nearly choked on my schnitzel when I saw that Cyprus have won 2-1 away to Kazakhstan. That’ll be the same Kazakhstan that embarrassed Scotland 3-0 earlier this year? In Vienna for a few days where the Austrian fans appear buoyant ahead of their qualifier against Israel, and I can confirm that the Welsh fans in Bratislava have been sampling the local hospitality since early this morning. Excitably drinking in expectation, I remember that. Now Scotland fans just drink to forget. Anyway, Dundee United’s Lawrence Shankland is on the bench for us tonight. Prost, and come on Scotland!”

What I love about this new, easy-to-understand qualifying system is that Scotland could turn up tonight with a midfield of Rab C Nesbitt and the lads from Still Game, and they’d still be guaranteed a play-off place.

Come on the Scots.
Come on the Scots. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA


You don’t have to be a Football Manager addict to love this feature...

“Rob, I’m enjoying the first night of my holiday in Spain,” says Wales fan Matt Dony, getting the enjoyment out the way before the football starts. “That Welsh side looks more-than-useful on paper. Please do everything you can to influence a positive result. If there’s even a hint of a wisp of an ephemeral idea of suspicion of the ol’ commentator’s curse, I will be forced to visit pain upon you with maximum prejudice. And that’s a horrible thought, as I’m generally a very nice guy.

“Ah, this Welsh side. So much potential. What with my club loyalties lying the other end of the M62, I’m obviously divided on Giggs(y), but I was happy to give him the benefit of the doubt as Welsh manager. Something’s just not working, though. Something is not clicking. And time is running out. I really, really, REALLY don’t want 2016 to have been a flash in the pan. I’m not the first to say it (I rarely am...) but four points from these two games is an absolute minimum requirement.”

I know it’s not an easy fit, given Bale’s role, but surely Harry Wilson is good enough to get in that team?

“Greetings from Trvana, Rob,” says Alun Pugh. “As a Newcastle fan I was disappointed to see a Sports Direct shop at the stadium this evening. Do any other long-suffering fans know of any other far-flung stadia where there’s a Sports Direct?”

If there’s one at the Maracanã, football’s dead to me.

Russia v Scotland team news

Michael Devlin and John Fleck will make their Scotland debuts in Russia. The pair have been handed starting places for the European Championship qualifier in Moscow.

Aberdeen centre-back Devlin features in a back four that also has the surprise inclusion of Sheffield Wednesday right-back Liam Palmer in favour of Stephen O’Donnell.

Fleck is joined by Callum McGregor and John McGinn in midfield with Robert Snodgrass and Ryan Fraser out wide. Oliver Burke starts up front.

Russia (4-3-3) Guilherme; Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikija, Kudryashov; Ozdoev, Barinov, Zhirkov; Ionov, Dzyuba, Golovin.
Subs: Dzanaev, Petrov, Chistyakov, Lunev, Ignatiev, Kuzyaev, Bakaev, Cheryshev, Komlichenko, Belyaev, Karavaev, Akhmetov.

Scotland (4-3-3) Marshall; Palmer, Mulgrew, Devlin, Robertson; Fleck, McGregor, McGinn; Snodgrass, Burke, Fraser.
Subs: Russell, MacGillivray, Shankland, Forrest, Christie, O’Donnell, McLaughlin, Taylor, Armstrong, Gallagher, Findlay.


Full time: Belarus 0-0 Estonia Great stuff.

Slovakia v Wales team news

Tom Lockyer and Kieffer Moore were handed their first competitive Wales starts as manager Ryan Giggs made four changes for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia in Trnava.

Ben Davies and Jonathan Williams were also recalled after the 2-1 win over Azerbaijan, with Chris Mepham, Neil Taylor, Harry Lawrence and Tom Lawrence dropping out.

Slovakia (4-3-3) Dubravka; Pekarik, Gyomber, Skriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Lobotka, Hamsik; Rusnak, Bozenik, Mak.
Subs: Bero, Valjent, Gregus, Duris, Mazan, Satka, Haraslin, Duda, Greif, Safranko, Kozacik, Hrosovsky.

Wales (4-2-3-1) Hennessey; Connor Roberts, Rodon, Lockyer, Ben Davies; Allen, Ampadu; Bale, Jonathan Williams, James; Moore.
Subs: Matondo, Lawrence, Vokes, Ward, Morrell, Gunter, Tyler Roberts, Vaulks, Wilson, Adam Davies, Taylor, Ashley Williams.


Netherlands v Northern Ireland team news

Kyle Lafferty will lead the line for Northern Ireland in their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Lafferty, who is yet to score for Norwegian club Sarpsborg since joining in August, faces the considerable task of breaking down a Dutch defence anchored by Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs De Ligt.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill named Shane Ferguson at left-back in the absence of the injured Jamal Lewis, while Michael Smith returned at right-back with Stuart Dallas deployed on the left wing.

Netherlands (4-3-3) Cillessen; Dumfries, de Ligt, van Dijk, Blind; Wijnaldum, de Roon, Frenkie de Jong; Bergwijn, Depay, Babel.
Subs: Berghuis, van de Beek, Bizot, Ake, Promes, Malen, Strootman, Veltman, van Aanholt, Luuk de Jong, Vermeer, de Vrij.

Northern Ireland (4-3-3) Peacock-Farrell; Smith, Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Ferguson; McNair, Davis, Saville; Corry Evans, Lafferty, Dallas.
Subs: Lavery, McGinn, Thompson, Carson, Kennedy, Whyte, Donnelly, Flanagan, Magennis, McGovern, McLaughlin, Boyce.



Hello and welcome to coverage of Matchday 7 (sic) in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. It’s all very straightforward: nobody has a clue how qualification works, but winning is better than losing. What we do know, thanks to the wonders of the information superhighway, is that Belgium will reach next summer’s finals if they win at home to San Marino tonight.

We’ll be keeping an eye - several, ideally - on all the games, with particular focus on the home nations. Northern Ireland (who are away to the Netherlands) and Wales (away to Slovakia) still have a decent chance of automatic qualification. Scotland don’t, for reasons that should be self-explanatory, but they are guaranteed a play-off place because of their Nations League exploits.

These are tonight’s fixtures (all 7.45pm BST unless stated).

Group C

  • Belarus 0-0 Estonia (5pm)
  • Netherlands v Northern Ireland

Group E

  • Slovakia v Wales
  • Croatia v Hungary

Group G

  • Latvia v Poland
  • North Macedonia v Slovenia
  • Austria v Israel

Group I

  • Kazakhstan 1-2 Cyprus (final score)
  • Russia v Scotland
  • Belgium v San Marino


Latest football headlines

Latest Football News