Euro 2020 qualifiers: Russia seals berth, Netherlands edges closer to finals

Denis Cheryshev starred as Russia secured its place at Euro 2020 with a 5-0 win, while Georginio Wijnaldum came to Netherlands' rescue against Belarus.

Denis Cheryshev scored twice in Russia's 5-0 thrashing of Cyprus.   -  Getty Images

Denis Cheryshev starred as Russia secured its place at Euro 2020 with a 5-0 win away to Cyprus.

Russia needed just a point to seal its qualification and Cheryshev opened the scoring in the ninth minute to set it on its way, before he set up Magomed Ozdoev for the second at GSP Stadium on Sunday.

Any slim hopes of a Cyprus fightback were extinguished in the 27th minute when Kostas Laifis was sent off for a poor foul on Sergey Petrov.

The Russia full-back had to be substituted and team's official Twitter account posted a photograph showing the wound in his leg.

Petrov and his team-mates can look forward to next year's finals after Russia guaranteed it will finish in the top two of Group I as Artem Dzyuba, Aleksandr Golovin and Cheryshev added late goals.

Belgium, group leader with maximum points, had already secured its place at the tournament with a 9-0 defeat of San Marino on Thursday.

- Wijnaldum double delight for Netherlands -

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Georginio Wijnaldum was the Netherlands hero.   -  Getty Images

 

Georginio Wijnaldum led the Dutch charge towards Euro 2020 as his superb double gave Netherlands a 2-1 win in Belarus.

After the calamity of failing to qualify for last year's World Cup, Netherlands is close to securing its return to the big stage, although it was unimpressive in Minsk.

Memphis Depay was absent with a thigh injury, and the Lyon forward was badly missed after his strong form for Oranje this year.

It fell to Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum to make the difference, with his neat header and spectacular long-range strike doing the damage for Ronald Koeman's men before Belarus' Stanislav Dragun breathed fresh life into the contest.

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