Successful Saturday for Saints stars

By SFC Media Sat 10 Oct First team

Virgil van Dijk made his Netherlands debut as they beat Kazakhstan 2-1 away from home in a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier.

Saints defender van Dijk, who last month was named in the full senior squad for the first time, helped Danny Blind’s side pick up three points.

Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring just after the 30-minute mark, before Wesley Sneijder doubled their lead shortly after the break.

Kazakhstan grabbed a late consolation as Islambek Kuat found the back of the net, but the Dutch held on to keep their hopes of qualifying for next summer’s tournament in France alive.

Van Dijk will hope to keep his place in the side when the Netherlands take on the Czech Republic at 7.45pm BST on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Graziano Pellè played the full game as Italy beat Azerbaijan to qualify for EURO 2016.

Eder’s early goal for the Italian’s was cancelled out 20 minutes later by Dimitrij Nazarov.

But Stephan El Shaarawy grabbed a goal just before half time to send Antonio Conte’s side into the break ahead.

Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian made it 3-1 with 65 minutes on the clock to put Italy in control, and that’s how it stayed to ensure Italy of their place in France next summer.

Earlier in the day Sam Gallagher was a late substitute as England Under-20s came from behind to beat Turkey at the Elite Cup in Germany.

Deniz Hummet put Turkey ahead in the 68th minute, before Gallagher – who scored in the win against Holland earlier in the week – was introduced with just over ten minutes remaining.

The youngster, on loan at MK Dons, helped Keith Downing’s men turn the game around as goals from Ryan Kent and Brandon Barker sealed a 2-1 win.

Harrison Reed, who was an unused substitute, and Gallagher will hope to make it three wins from three when they take on Germany at 6pm BST on Tuesday.

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