Georginio Wijnaldum led the Dutch charge towards Euro 2020 as his superb double gave Netherlands a 2-1 win in Belarus.After the calamity of failing to qualify for last year’s World Cup, Netherlands are close to securing their return to the big stage, although they were unimpressive in Minsk.Memphis Depay was absent with a thigh injury, and the Lyon forward was badly missed after his strong form for Oranje this year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career It fell to Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum to make the difference, with his neat header and spectacular long-range strike doing the damage for Ronald Koeman’s men before Belarus’ Stanislav Dragun breathed fresh life into the contest.The hosts should have gone ahead midway through the first half when Igor Stasevich’s cross from the right fell to Denis Laptev, seven yards from goal.An opening goal looked inevitable, but Matthijs de Ligt threw himself brilliantly in front of the striker’s shot to make a block, before Laptev sent his follow-up off target.Wijnaldum made the breakthrough in the 32nd minute, jumping to guide a cross from Quincy Promes into the top left corner.His second goal nine minutes later was a stunning effort from 28 yards, raking from the left of goal into the right top corner.Evgeni Yablonski was a yard away from a copycat strike for Belarus moments before half-time.The hosts got one back after 53 minutes when Dragun headed home Denis Polyakov’s cross from the left, getting in behind Virgil van Dijk – a rare error from the centre-back.It was a first goal at home for Belarus since last October, when they beat Luxembourg 1-0, and Netherlands were rattled, Stasevich and Yablonski both threatening to bring the game level.Luuk de Jong headed over as Netherlands looked for a third goal to kill the contest, and Donyell Malen fluffed a great chance late on.WAT. EEN. GOAL. #WRUNED pic.twitter.com/nAyTL3oQaF — OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) October 13, 2019 What does it mean?Netherlands and Germany have established control of Group C, with Northern Ireland’s challenge apparently fading, so expect the Dutch to be at next year’s finals. Belarus will be in the play-offs after winning their Nations League group.Wijnaldum? Why not?The midfielder came up with the goods when Netherlands’ forwards were struggling to make a breakthrough in Depay’s absence. Wijnaldum continues to score big goals for club and country and Sunday’s second strike was one for a career highlights reel.Mixed Minsk memoriesNetherlands suffered disappointment two years ago while in the capital of Belarus, as their World Cup qualification hopes were dashed. The Dutch won 3-1 that night, but an 8-0 victory for rivals Sweden over Luxembourg earlier in the day meant Netherlands were effectively doomed to miss out on the finals. This was a better night, but nervy all the same.What’s next?Netherlands face Northern Ireland and Estonia next month, as they wrap up their group campaign and look to seal qualification. Belarus have just one group game left, away to Germany. read more
Rabat – The Saad Lamjarred scandal is far from over.Saad Lamjarred has (once again) missed his court date. The Moroccan singer chose to spend Ramadan in Morocco and be represented by his lawyer.Appointed to the Court of Great Instance (TGI) in Paris on Monday, June 4, for a medical expert opinion in summary, the singer of “Ghazali,” represented by one of his lawyers, has contested the request for a medical examination from the complainant, Laura Prioul. In addition, Lamjarred is suing Prioul for defamation over her legal request. French authorities arrested Saad Lamjarred on October 26 for the alleged rape of Laura Prioul. He was released and put under surveillance on April 13.Last month, Prioul’s lawyer requested a medical expert in Paris, aiming to establish a link between the rape she reportedly suffered in October 2016 and the deterioration of her health since.“We pleaded this morning the request for medical examination of Laura Prioul to the High Court of Paris in summary, because she has a problem with her left kidney that no longer works and we want to see if it has a link with the aggression,” said her lawyer Jean-Maric Desboubes to HuffPost Maroc.Desboubes added that “the Dupond-Moretti firm was present to represent Saad Lamjarred. They objected to the request for an examination and claim 15,000 euros in damages from Laura Prioul because they find that this request is detrimental to their client.”Monday was not the first time that Lamjarred missed a court date. The first hearing was originally scheduled for April 9 and was postponed until Monday.Mediapart attributed Saad Lamjarred’s absence to “a hangover due to a big anniversary party in the night club l’Arc Paris two nights before the audience.” A video of the Moroccan singer celebrating his birthday while standing next to a bottle of vodka has also been circulating on YouTube.However, this time, the popstar’s presence in court is not required by law. Lamjarred, who is spending some family time in Morocco, will have to wait for the report of the doctors to decide whether Laura Prioul’s deteriorating health is related to the alleged rape or not. The verdict will be returned on June 18.Lamjarred is also facing arrest in the United States for another case of sexual assault in 2010, where an Albanian-American woman accused him of rape and violence.