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Daley Blind stars as Netherlands ease World Cup qualification fears

Manchester United’s Daley Blind played a key role in the Netherlands’ vital 3-1 victory over Bulgaria to keep their 2018 World Cup qualification hopes alive.

Dick Advocaat’s side were hammered 4-0 by France on Thursday night which left them in fourth position before this evening’s crucial tie at home to Bulgaria.

It was Bulgaria’s 3-2 victory at home to Sweden on the same evening that has kept the Dutch hopes alive.  They are now three points behind both Sweden and France with the latter’s game in hand at home to Luxembourg this evening.

Sweden continued their good qualifying campaign with a 4-0 win in Belarus this evening.

The Netherlands did what was required of them versus a Bulgaria side that have now lost all four of their away qualifying matches.

Brighton & Hove Albion summer signing Davy Propper opened the scoring from close range after only seven minutes following an excellent assist from Daley Blind down the left wing.

It wasn’t until midway through the second half that the Netherlands were briefly able to breathe a sigh of relief when the United left-back this time assisted Arjen Robben to score from close range.

However, Bulgaria replied immediately with a floated free kick from Ivelin Popov that beat everyone to reduce the deficit.

Propper headed home a third for the Netherlands with 10 minutes to go and this time it proved too much for Bulgaria.

As well as creating two important goals Daley Blind was solid at the back for the Dutch and supported the attack down the left wing, teaming up with Quincy Promse.

There was no appearance for United’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah who made his debut on Thursday.  Lyon’s Kenny Tete returned to full fitness to play the full 90 minutes at right-back this evening.