gareth bale
Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring for Wales against Cyprus in the Euro 2016 Qualifiers in Nicosia on ThursdayReuters

Wales and Italy secured victories in their respective Euro 2016 qualifiers on Thursday, but the major  talking point was the defeat of Netherlands at the hands of Iceland.

A total of nine games were scheduled on the day, with teams from Group A, Group B, and Group H involved. Iceland, Wales, and Italy currently lead Group A, Group B and Group H respectively.

All the teams from the three groups have played seven games each, and have three games to go. The top two teams will get a confirmed direct berth into the finals of Eiro 2016, which will be held in France.

Below is a roundup of the games:

Group A

Netherlands 0-1 Iceland

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the decisive penalty for Iceland in the 51st minute of the game to draw first blood for the visitors at the Amsterdam ArenA, and following the end of 90 minutes and additional time, the score remained 1-0 in favour of the away side.

The Dutch side, managed by Danny Blind, received their first blow of the game in the 33rd minute, as defender Bruno Martins Indi picked up a straight red after he tumbled to the ground with Kolbeinn Sigthhorsson, during a challenge. Martins Indi used his forearm to make a striking movement and it caught Sigthhorsson's side of the neck, and it was enough for the referee to dismiss him from the game.

The game was also the first match as captain for Bayern Munich star winger Arjen Robben. Robben, however, had a forgettable outing as he picked up an injury and was replaced by Luciano Narsingh in the 31st minute of the match.

The win takes Iceland to the top of Group A with 18 points, whereas Netherlands stay third with ten points.

Czech Republic 2-1 Kazakhstan

A brace from Milan Škoda saw Czech Republic move to the second spot in Group A with 16 points from seven games.

Group B

Cyprus 0-1 Wales

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale proved to be the difference in the game against Cyprus in Nicosia, as the forward's 82nd-minute header gave his side a crucial victory on the day.

A historic berth for Wales in a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup is in sight, and Bale knew that as he converted Jazz Richards' cross to score his sixth goal of the European qualifiers.

The win takes Wales to the top of Group B with 17 points, three ahead of second-placed Belgium.

Belgium 3-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

All of the present and former English Premier League players got onto the scoresheet in this game, as Belgium moved to second spot following the win in Brussels.

Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, now with Serie A club Roma, got the opener for Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 15th minute of the game, but his goal was soon cancelled out by Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini in the 23rd minute. Record Manchester City signing Kevin De Bruyne scored the winner for the hosts in the 44th minute.

Chelsea star Eden Hazard put the icing on the cake for Belgium, as he converted a penalty in the 78th minute.

Group H

Italy 1-0 Malta

Southampton forward Graziano Pelle scored the decisive goal for his side in the 69th minute of the game to earn the solitary goal win over Malta in Florence. The Azzurri currently lead the Group H standings with 15 points, one more than Croatia, who had their points docked by the UEFA, pending an appeal.

Azerbaijan 0-0 Croatia

After winning 6-0 in their home leg last October, Croatia were held goalless by Azerbaijan in Baku on Thursday. Niko Kovač's men wasted a lot of chances in the game, majority of which fell for striker Mario Mandzukic. However, the one point they earned from the game, takes them to second place in the table, just a point below Italy, and also a point above Norway.

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