Netherlands lose opening Euro 2016 qualifier after major blunder; Bosnia stunned by Cyprus



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LONDON — The Netherlands had a disappointing start to qualifying for the European Championship, and fellow World Cup team Bosnia-Herzegovina lost to Cyprus in Tuesday's biggest surprise.

Wales narrowly avoided a similar stumble at tiny Andorra, while Italy had a comfortable victory in Antonio Conte's first competitive game in charge.

Here is a look at Tuesday's qualifying games around Europe:


GROUP A:

Defender Daryl Janmaat's blunder handed substitute Vaclav Pilar an injury-time goal, lifting the Czech Republic to a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands.

Janmaat attempted to head a harmless cross back to his goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, but Pilar pounced on the ball and put it in the net.

Midfielder Borek Dockal gave the home team the lead in the 22nd minute with a powerful left-foot shot.

Stefan de Vrij, who missed a cross in the lead-up to Dockal's goal, made amends by equalizing in the 55th, rising to head home a Daley Blind cross after the Czech defense failed to clear a corner.

In other Group A matches, Kazakhstan and Latvia played to a 0-0 draw, and Iceland beat 10-man Turkey 3-0 to go to the top of the group on goal difference.

In Reykjavik, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scored in the 18th minute and Iceland's task of defending its lead was made easier when Omer Toprak was sent off in the 59th minute for his second yellow card. Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled the lead in the 76th minute and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson completed the scoring a minute later.


GROUP B:

Wales needed two goals from star winger Gareth Bale to rally for a 2-1 win over Andorra.

Cyprus pulled off a surprise in the other Group B game, beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 after the host missed a late penalty.

Wales is hoping to reach its first major tournament since 1958 after UEFA expanded the Euro 2016 field to 24 teams, but got off to a poor start when Ildefons Lima put the hosts ahead with a penalty in the sixth minute. It was Andorra's first goal in a competitive game in four years.

But Wales fought back on a poor artificial pitch, with Bale heading in a cross from Ben Davies in the 22nd minute. The Real Madrid star then scored the winner with a dipping free kick in the 81st minute.

Cyprus staged a similar comeback, with Dimitris Christofi scoring twice after Bosnia took the lead through Vedad Ibisevic in the sixth minute. Christofi beat goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to a cross and headed in the equalizer just before halftime.

With Bosnia pushing for a winner, Cyprus struck on the counterattack. Christofi came in one-on-one with Begovic and calmly slotted in the winner to stun the fans in Zenica.

Bosnia had a chance to equalize when striker Edin Dzeko was fouled in the area in the 89th, but Miralem Pjanic had his penalty saved by goalkeeper Antonis Giorgallides.

Belgium and Israel are also in the group, but their opening game was postponed until March because of the conflict in Gaza.


GROUP H:

Simone Zaza scored his first international goal to help Italy beat Norway 2-0 in Oslo.

Zaza, who became the first Sassuolo player to win an Italy cap last week, converted a shot from a tight angle which took a slight deflection to wrong-foot Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.

Ciro Immobile was offside and in the goalkeeper's line of vision, but the referee waved away Norway's protests.

Leonardo Bonucci doubled Italy's lead shortly after the hour mark, when the Juventus defender was left unmarked at the far post and headed in a cross from substitute Manuel Pasqual.

Elsewhere in Group H, second-half goals from Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric gave Croatia a 2-0 win over Malta, while substitute Ventsislav Hristov's late header gave Bulgaria a 2-1 victory in Azerbaijan.

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