European Championship qualifying wrap

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Kazakhstan started their road to next year’s European championship finals with a 3-0 win over Scotland at the Astana Arena.

The Scottish were second best all day long, as Yuriy Pertsukh gave the hosts a 10th minute lead, with Yan Vorogovskiy adding a second on 31 minutes and Baktiyar Zaynutdinov the third on 51 minutes.

Cyprus 5-0 San Marino

Cyprus made light work of a hapless San Marino with a 5-0 thrashing at the GSP Stadium in Strovolos on Thursday.

A first half double from Pieros Sotiriou followed by Ioannis Kousoulos and Konstantinos Laifis granted Cyprus the big lift off, who now shifts focus to Belgium.

A double from captain Eden Hazard steered Belgium to a 3-1 triumph over ten-man Russia in Brussels.

Youri Tielemans put the Belgians ahead after 14 minutes, but Russia responded instantly through Denis Cheryshev before Hazard struck from the spot before halftime and netted a second late on.

Aleksandr Golovin was dismissed late on for a second bookable offence.

2018 World Cup finalists Croatia hit the ground running with a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan in Group E in Zagreb.

The visitors were ahead on 19 minutes through the boot of Ramil Sheydayev, but the Croats were back in the mix through Borna Barisic and Andre Kramaric to complete the come back.

Poland got off to a winning start in Group G of their qualifying campaign away to Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadion.

Barring a goalless first half, the visitors grabbed the winner earlier in the second half through Krzysztof Piatek.

Netherlands' resurgence continued with a 4-0 hammering over Belarus at the De Kuip Arena in Group C.

Memphis Depay put the Dutch ahead after just one minute and added second from the spot earlier in the second half, while Liverpool duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk also managed to get on the scoresheet.

In Group C’s other showing, Northern Ireland needed a second half performance for a 2-0 win over Estonia.

Efforts from Niall McGinn and Steven Davis in the second period handed Martin O’Neill’s side a winning start.

Israel and Slovenia played to a 1-1 draw in their qualifying opener in Group G at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa.

Both goals arrived in the second half through Eran Zahavi for Israel and Andraz Sporar for the visitors.

Slovakia made a bright start to their qualifying sojourn with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hungary at the City Arena Trnava.

Ondrej Duda’s first half strike put the hosts in front at the break before Albert Rusnak put the result beyond doubt late on.

Macedonia put ten-man Latvia to the sword with a 3-1 victory at the Telekom Arena, through a double from Elif Elmas.

Ezgjan Alioski gave the home side an early lead on 11 minutes, before Elmas stole the show in either side of the half.

Darko Velkovski netted to his own net for the visiting side, who had Andrejs Ciganiks dismissed for a second bookable offence.