Northern Ireland maintained their 100% record in Euro 2020 qualifying so far to put more pressure on Netherlands.

Netherlands need to finish in the top two of the group to ensure automatic qualification to Euro 2020 but they also have a playoff spot to fall back on if they don’t achieve it.

Oranje’s chances of top spot took a blow when they lost 3-2 at home to Germany earlier this year but Northern Ireland’s form will also be a slight concern to Ronald Koeman.

Netherlands would have been hoping that Estonia, Belarus and Northern Ireland would take points off each other, making things easier for the Dutch to seal a top two spot.

However, Northern Ireland are putting a spanner in the works. On Monday night they beat Belarus 1-0 away from home. That means Northern Ireland have taken all 12 points from their four matches against Belarus and Estonia. Germany also strengthened their status as probable group winners with a 8-0 hammering of Estonia.

Northern Ireland have played two more games than Netherlands, and haven’t played a top nation yet, but they now sit nine points above Oranje in the table. It is clear for Koeman now that no mistakes can be made in the rest of the campaign which continues in September.

On the 6th, Netherlands travel to Germany before a match in Estonia three days later. The most crucial ties seem to be the home and away matches against Northern Ireland. Netherlands host Northern Ireland on the 10th of October before heading to Belfast on the 16th of November.

Netherlands do have the playoff spot to rely on but the nation will expect automatic qualification! The pressure is growing on Oranje’s young stars.




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