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Germany, Netherlands win as Croatia drops points

Germany flirted with defeat for a second straight European Championship qualifier before Marcel Halstenberg’s first international goal lifted the team to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday.

Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands, Germany’s recovery was unconvincing, helped by Northern Ireland wasting good chances.

The Dutch delivered another impressive attacking display as Memphis Depay marked his 50th game for the Netherlands by scoring one goal and setting up two more in a 4-0 win over Estonia.

Belgium made qualifying seem a pushover by beating Scotland 4-0 to keep a perfect winning record, but other favorites faltered. Croatia and Poland both dropped points but remained top of their increasingly competitive groups.

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