Sport Football Wales beat Hungary to reach Euro 2020
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Wales beat Hungary to reach Euro 2020

Wales players celebrate qualification for Euro 2020 after their victory over Hungary. Photo: Getty
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Two goals from Aaron Ramsey have fired Wales to Euro 2020 as a 2-0 victory over Hungary in Cardiff sealed their place in next year’s finals.

Juventus midfielder Ramsey struck in both halves at Cardiff City Stadium as Wales won to clinch second place in Group E for the 2016 European championship semi-finalists, while their opponents must now be content with a place in the playoffs.

Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as Germany held onto top spot in Group C with a 6-1 victory over Northern Ireland, while fellow qualifiers Netherlands thrashed Estonia 5-0 courtesy of a Georginio Wijnaldum hat-trick.

Belgium sealed their 100 per cent qualifying record with an emphatic 6-1 win over Cyprus, as second-place Russia hammered San Marino 5-0 in Group I and Scotland accounted for Kazakhstan 3-1.

Wales, Hungary and Slovakia were battling for the second qualifying spot behind World Cup 2018 runners-up Croatia, although each side was already assured of a spot in the playoffs if they didn’t reach the tournament via the group.

Ryan Giggs’s Wales earned their passage back into the tournament after their brilliant run to the semi-finals in 2016 with the national team boss hailing the qualification.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,” he said on Sky Sports.

“Credit to the lads, coming back from where we were in the summer after two defeats.

“We showed grit, determination and quality. It’s one of the best days of my life.”

Ramsey broke the deadlock after 15 minutes with a close range header from Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale’s whipped cross.

Two minutes after the break Ramsey struck again, blasting home after the ball fortuitously found him at the far post.

Victory left Wales second on 14 points from eight games, one ahead of Slovakia who beat Azerbaijan 2-0.

Bayern Munich’s in-form forward Gnabry bagged a treble for Joachim Loew’s dominant Germany as they thrashed Northern Ireland in Frankfurt, ensuring they will be one of the top seeded teams in the group stage draw on November 30.

Leon Goretzka scored twice while Julian Brandt rounded out the scoring for the Germans after Michael Smith gave the visitors a surprise early lead.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum scored a hat-trick as Netherlands thrashed Estonia, with Nathan Ake and Myron Boadu netting the others.

Germany, on 21 points, finished two ahead of Netherlands, while third place Northern Ireland and fourth place Belarus have secured play-off spots.

Kevin de Bruyne and Christian Benteke netted two goals each for rampant Belgium, who will be one of the favourites for the tournament after scoring 40 times in 10 qualifying wins from as many games.

Scotland, who have a play-offs spot, defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 with two goals from John McGinn and another from Steven Naismith.

Group G winners Poland earned a late 3-2 win over Slovenia, while runners-up Austria lost 1-0 at Latvia and North Macedonia beating Israel 1-0.