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Euro 2016 Qualifiers Roundup June 12: Wales Top Group B With Win Over Belgium

The first round of games for Matchday 6 in the qualifiers for the European Championship in France next summer took place Friday, and Wales grabbed a 1-0 win over Belgium to go on top in Group B after a goal by Real Madrid star Gareth Bale. In Group H, Croatia and Italy drew and remain at the top of the group.

Nations from Groups A, B and H played games on Friday, and there were several interesting results that might have a big outcome on how things will end up.

In Group A, Iceland went top of the group after beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in Reykjavik at the Laugardalsvöllur Stadium. Borek Dockal gave the Czechs the lead in the 50th minute but just five minutes later Iceland tied it up through captain Aron Gunnarsson.

Striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute after he snapped up an errant pass by a Czech defender and rounded goalkeeper Petr Cech. Iceland leapfrogged the Czechs and now tops the group with 15 points, two points ahead of the Czechs in second place.

Arda Turan scored the only goal in the game as Turkey won 1-0 on the road against Kazakhstan. Turan’s late goal in the second half means that Turkey still has a mathematical chance of reaching the 2016 Euros. The Netherlands took a 2-0 win over Latvia in Riga after goals by Giorgino Wijnaldum and Luciano Narsingh as the Dutch increase their points total to 10.

Standings Group A:

  1. Iceland 15pts
  2. Czech Republic 13pts
  3. Netherlands 10pts
  4. Turkey 8pts
  5. Latvia 3 pts
  6. Kazakhstan 1pts

In Group B, the big matchup was between Wales and Belgium, who before the game were tied with 11 points each. Gareth Bale has an impressive goals-to-games ratio for the Welsh national team and he scored his 17th goal in his 50th game for Wales, truly impressive as a winger. Wales are on the verge to making it to their first ever European Championship as they now top the group, three points ahead of Belgium, who is ranked No. 2 in the world.

Cyprus traveled to Andorra and grabbed three points with a 3-1 win. Cyprus is now tied with Israel for third place with nine points. Nestor Mytidis scored a hat trick for Cyprus. Andorra are still without a single point in these qualifications. Bosnia and Herzegovina won over Israel in Zenica, 3-1 after two goals by Edin Visca and one from Edin Dzeko. The Bosnians are now one point behind Israel and Cyprus, and will take on Belgium in September.

Standings Group B:

  1. Wales 14pts
  2. Belgium 11pts
  3. Israel 9pts
  4. Cyprus 9pts
  5. Bosnia and Herzegovina 8pts
  6. Andorra 0pts

The only team that will be happy in Group H after Friday’s games will be Bulgaria as they won 1-0 away to Malta after a goal by Ivelin Popov. The Bulgarians are still in fourth but closed the gap to the top three teams by two points.

Mario Mandzukic gave Croatia the lead over Italy early in the first half. Mandzukic scored in the 11th minute, and before that he had missed a penalty in the seventh minute. The Italians were awarded a penalty kick in the 36th minute and Antonio Candreva made no mistake from the spot.

That ended up being the last goal of the game as they drew 1-1 and with that Croatia are still in the lead in Group H. Italy remain in second after Norway failed to score on Azerbaijan at home in Oslo as they get one point each after the scoreless draw.

Standings Group H:

  1. Croatia 14pts
  2. Italy 12pts
  3. Norway 10pts
  4. Bulgaria 8pts
  5. Azerbaijan 4pts
  6. Malta 1pts

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