LONDON: Holland came from behind to beat Kazakhstan 3-1 at the Amsterdam ArenA and make a winning start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
The World Cup semi-finalists lost their opening Group A match away to the Czech Republic and a shock looked on the cards when Guus Hiddink’s side fell behind to an early header from Renat Abdulin.
However, the Oranje’s sustained pressure eventually told when substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar equalised just after the hour.
Kazakhstan were soon reduced to 10 men when Baurzhan Dzholchiev clattered into Ibrahim Afellay, whose deflected shot put the Dutch ahead with eight minutes left.
Captain Robin van Persie then added a late third from the penalty spot.
Holland trail joint leaders Iceland and the Czech Republic by three points in the standings.
Iceland netted a second successive 3-0 win, with second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson and Rurik Gislason seeing off 10-man Latvia, who had Artjoms Rudnevs dismissed when the game was still goalless.
The Czechs, meanwhile, were 2-1 winners in Turkey. Umut Bulut put the hosts ahead early but Tomas Sivok grabbed an equaliser and Borek Dockal grabbed the winner.
Giorgio Chiellini scored a hat-trick of sorts as Italy made it two wins out of two in Group H.
However, the Azzurri did it the hard way in the 2-1 victory against Azerbaijan, missing a spate of chances before Chiellini’s header earned them the lead late in the first half.
The Juventus defender then put the ball through his own net to give the visitors an unexpected leveller, but made amends nine minutes from time with another header to complete his ‘treble’.
The win puts Italy at the top of the pile ahead of Croatia, who were 1-0 winners in Bulgaria courtesy of Nikolay Bodurov’s 36th-minute own goal.
Joshua King scored twice as Norway completed a comfortable 3-0 win away to Malta. The Blackburn forward’s double followed an opener from Mats Moller Daehli as the Scandinavians secured their first points in Group H.
Belgium beat Andorra 6-0 to get their Group B campaign started with a bang.
Although Eden Hazard sat the match out with a toe injury, braces from Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens, plus strikes from Nacer Chadli and Divock Origi ensured a comfortable night for coach Marc Wilmots.
Wales top Group B on four points after maintaining their unbeaten start with a goalless draw at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Israel marked the start of their challenge with a 2-1 win over Cyprus in Nicosia.
Omer Damari put the visitors ahead on 38 minutes, with Tal Ben Haim adding a second just before the break.
Cyprus – who recorded an impressive away win over Bosnia in their first qualifier – rallied and reduced the deficit through Konstantinos Makridis on 67 minutes, but could not find an equaliser.