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Holland Beats Iceland, Belgium Whips Armenia in World Cup Qualifiers
    2008-10-12 08:16:20     Xinhua

The Netherlands and Belgium on Saturday night both scored easy home victories over Iceland and Armenia to remain unbeaten in their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Netherlands, which beat Macedonia in their Group 9 opener in September, dominated the match in Rotterdam against the visitors, taking the lead after 15 minutes when defender Joris Mathijsen opened the scoring. At the 65th minute, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made it 2-0 for the hosts.

With 2 wins in their first two matches, the Netherlands jumped to the top of their group, edging Scotland, which managed four points out of three matches, into second place.

The other team of the group is Norway.

In Brussels, Belgium of Group 5 gained the crucial win against Armenia, moving them into second place with seven points, two behind leaders and European Champions Spain. Turkey, also with seven points, lie in third place. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Estonia complete the line up of the group.

In Group 2, Luxembourg suffered a 3-1 home defeat by Israel to drop to fifth in the group. Greece top the group with a perfect record of three wins, followed by Israel with seven points.

A total of 53 European teams are competing for tickets to South Africa. Winners of the nine groups directly enter the finals. Eight best second-place finishers will clash in two-leg playoffs, with the winners also gaining berths to South Africa.

 
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