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Sports

Depay double saves the Dutch against Luxembourg

The Netherlands left it late to seal a World Cup qualifying win against lowly Luxembourg, while Belgium bashed eight past Estonia. All the main results you need to know are here.

Luxembourg 1-3 Netherlands

Memphis Depay pocketed a pair off the bench to save the Netherlands from a Benelux embarrassment - turning a 1-1 against Luxembourg into a more respectable 3-1 victory. The Manchester United forward was set up by his Old Trafford teammate Daley Blind for his first. 

Arjen Robben returned to the pitch for the Oranje after a year's absence, opening the scoring after 36 minutes. But Robben was subbed out at half-time after looking somewhat uncomfortable late in the first half. What should have been positive news, also for fans of Bayern Munich, could swiftly morph into further injury concerns for the fragile winger. 

Luxembourg had leveled from the penalty spot just before the break, Depay struck after 58 and 84 minutes. 

In Group A's other Sunday match, Bulgaria bested Belarus 1-0 in Sofia.

Belgium 8-1 Estonia

In Brussels, the Red Devils showed their near-neighbors what a thrashing really looks like, opening up a two-point lead in qualifying Group H in the process.

Thomas Meunier, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard and Yannick Carrasco all got in on the scoring action, as did Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan, albeit putting it in his own net.  

Also in Group H, Cyprus beat Gibraltar 2-1 and Greece lost 1-0 at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Portugal 4-1 Latvia

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target twice with Carvalho and Bruno Alves also finding the scoring boots against the visitors on Sunday. Latvia's 67th minute goal had tied the game up at 1-1, but Portugal reclaimed the lead almost immediately via Carvalho before Ronaldo netted his second and Bruno Alves finished the job in stoppage time.

Group B rivals Hungary also scored four, but without reply, in their home encounter with Andorra. Meanwhile, Switzerland, hosting the Faroe Islands' team of amateurs, delivered a businesslike but notably low-scoring 2-0 win.

Egypt 2-0 Ghana

In Alexandria, Egypt took some revenge for their humbling World Cup 2014 qualifying playoff against Ghana, by winning 2-0 in their Group E game and taking a two-point lead in the group in the process.

Mohamed Salah and Abdallah Saied netted on the night, Salah converting the first from the penalty spot. 

Over two legs in the African playoff for World Cup 2014 qualification, Ghana had hammered Egypt 6-1 - later joining the group with Germany, the US and Portugal. This defeat prolonged Egypt's run of 26 years without a World Cup spot - last appearing in the competition in Italy in 1990.

Uganda are second in the group, while Ghana are already struggling with just one point so far, albeit with four games still left to recover.

Meanwhile, in Africa's Group A, the Democratic Republic of Congo reclaimed group leadership from Tunisia, thanks to a 2-1 win against Guinea away from home. 

msh  (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)