Wednesday 20 September 2017

Holland lose patience with Blind after yet another defeat

The decision to dismiss Blind from his duties was made following the Netherlands 2-0 loss to Bulgaria on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
The decision to dismiss Blind from his duties was made following the Netherlands 2-0 loss to Bulgaria on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Holland manager Danny Blind has been dismissed by the Dutch FA after picking up just two wins from his last seven games.

In a statement, the KNVB confirmed the decision to dismiss Blind from his duties was made following the 2-0 loss to Bulgaria on Saturday, and that U-21 manager Fred Grim would take over as manager on an interim basis for tomorrow's friendly against Italy in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, Scotland kept their World Cup dream alive with a precious 1-0 victory over Slovenia last night.

Chris Martin came off the bench to score the 88th-minute winner to ease the pressure on the under-fire Gordon Strachan.

Elsewhere, Andre Schurrle scored two and set up another in a 4-1 win over Azerbaijan, as Germany made it five wins from five in World Cup qualifying Group C yesterday.

Schurrle, making his first start for Germany since October 2015, opened the scoring and set up Thomas Muller to make it 2-1 after Dimitrij Nazarov had threatened to spark a huge shock, before Mario Gomez struck just before half-time and Schurrle added a late fourth.

They remain seven points clear of the Czech Republic, who thrashed San Marino 6-0, while Azerbaijan stay in fourth place on seven points after a second defeat of their campaign.

Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek were on target in Poland's 2-1 win over Montenegro.

On Saturday, Belgium needed a last-minute equaliser from Romelu Lukaku to stay top of Group H.

Greece were headed for the summit when Kostas Mitroglou gave them the lead in Brussels, but Panagiotis Tachtsidis's red card midway through the second-half let Belgium take control.

However, they could not make the breakthrough until Lukaku fired home in the 89th minute and had to settle for a point.

The Greeks, who moved above Bosnia-Herzegovina into second with their point, finished the match with nine men after Giorgos Tzavelas was also sent off in injury-time.

France returned to the top of Group A with a 3-1 win in Luxembourg. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, but Aurelien Joachim equalised from the penalty spot before Antoine Griezmann restored France's lead with another spot-kick.

Giroud's header after 77 minutes gave Didier Deschamps's side a two-goal cushion and made sure of all three points.

Sweden, who beat Belarus 4-0, stay in second place after Holland lost in Bulgaria.

Portugal narrowed the gap on Group B leaders Switzerland to three points with a 3-0 home victory over Hungary, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice after Adrien Silva had given the European champions the lead.

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