Thu, Nov 22, 2018 - Page 16 News List

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: Kosovo crush Azerbaijan for Euro 2020 playoff berth

AFP, PARIS

Kosovo on Tuesday sealed a Euro 2020 playoff place only two years after becoming a UEFA-recognized national team, as Arber Zeneli scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 UEFA Nations League thrashing of Azerbaijan.

Heading into the game in Pristina, Kosovo knew a draw against Azerbaijan would be enough to wrap up top spot in Group D3 and boost their Euro qualifying hopes.

However, they got off to a dream start, with SC Heerenveen midfielder Zeneli putting them ahead in only the second minute.

The 23-year-old scored twice more in the second half, with Dinamo Zagreb defender Amir Rrahmani also finding the net, as Kosovo completed a famous win.

Kosovo only claimed their first-ever competitive victory in September by beating the Faroe Islands, but have since won three more times in the Nations League with an incredible turnaround in form.

Bernard Challandes’ men are now unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions, winning eight, since November last year.

They are to play in the Nations League D playoffs next year, where Georgia, Belarus and Macedonia will be battling them for a ticket to the 2020 European Championship.

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