Netherlands have got their World Cup qualification back on track by beating Latvia 2-0 while Turkey continued their strong start in Group G with a 3-0 victory over Norway to sit top on goal difference.
Steven Berghuis curled in a left-footed shot in the 32nd minute and Luuk de Jong headed home a corner in the 69th as the Netherlands rebounded from a 4-2 defeat in Turkey in their qualifying opener.
It could have been much more but for a combination of bad luck – two headers against the bar by De Jong and Davy Klaassen – and committed Latvian defending.
In a match played in the Spanish city of Malaga, Ozan Tufan scored a goal in each half and Caglar Soyuncu headed his country’s second goal as Turkey easily beat Norway.
Ahead of their game, Netherlands players wore T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Football supports change,” in an apparent statement about human rights in World Cup host Qatar.
Dutch authorities allowed 5,000 fans to attend the match under strict conditions, divided into different bubbles as a test to evaluate possible ways of reopening large-scale public events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They saw Stephanie Frappart make history by becoming the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup qualifier.
Montenegro beat Gibraltar 4-1 in Podgorica to make it two wins from two matches and have them second place in the group.
Luka Modric set the outright record for most games for Croatia in a drab 1-0 win over Cyprus while Artem Dzyuba scored both of Russia’s goals in a 2-1 win over Slovenia.
Croatia, 2018 World Cup finalists, edged their game when Mario Pasalic headed in the only goal of the game in the 40th minute to take advantage of a defensive error.
Midfielder Modric make his record 135th appearance for his country, moving ahead of former captain Darijo Srna.
Russia’s win in front of a crowd of 13,000 – allowed amid the coronavirus pandemic under competition rules and Russian law – kept them at the top of Group H.
Belarus twice came from behind to kick off their World Cup qualification campaign with a 4-2 win over 10-man Estonia in Group E.