World Cup 2018 qualifiers: Netherlands suffer shock loss against Bulgaria; Ronaldo' s brace helps Portugal ease past Hungary

Ashim Sunam
Netherlands football, World CUp qualifiers, World Cup 2018,

Reuters

The Netherlands, after failing to qualify for Euro 2016, are in a serious danger of missing out of the FIFA World Cup 2018. The Dutch, who finished an impressive third in the last edition in Brazil in 2014,  have collected only seven points from five matches so far. The three-time runners-up in World Cup were stunned 0-2 by Bulgaria in an important Group A ecnounter on Saturday (March 25), leaving them fourth in the group.

The problems for the orange outfit, who need to climb up the table fast to keep their hopes alive for the World Cup to be played in Russia, have been multiplied by injuries to defenders like Virgil van Dijk and Stefan de Vrij. Seventeen-year-old Matthijs de Ligt, who started the game against Bulgaria, had a forgettable outing.

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The Dutch camp also looked rattled after coach Danny Blind took the responsibility after a brace from Spas Delev did it for Bulgaria and also hinted at reconsidering his future.

"I blame myself. It can't go on like this. Things have to change." Asked about his future, he told NOS: "I need to think about it. I do not throw the towel in here. I'm incredibly disappointed, especially since I had a good feeling about this match. It makes sense that I put myself in front of the mirror." France and Sweden are the top two teams in the group at the moment.

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Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal drubbed Hungary 3-0 in an Group B encounter. 

After Andre Silva scored the opener in the 32nd minute, the Real Madrid star scored a brace. With this win, Portugal are placed second in Group B with 12 points at the moment, and are three points short of the table-toppers Switzerland.

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