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France's defender Benjamin Pavard (second left) celebrates with teammates after scoring in the UEFA Euro 2024 group B qualification match against Republic of Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: France held on to beat Ireland 1-0 in Dublin on Monday to win their second Euro 2024 qualifier, while the Netherlands eased past Gibraltar 3-0.

Right-back Benjamin Pavard pounced with half an hour remaining at a sold-out Lansdowne Road before two superb Mike Maignan saves in the final two minutes.

With 30 seconds to play in Dublin, AC Milan’s Maignan, who has succeeded former captain Hugo Lloris as Les Bleus’ goalkeeper, tipped over team-mate Jules Kounde’s panicked header.

From the resulting corner Maignan saved the visitors’ skin as he made a similar save from Nathan Collins’ powerful effort.

Towering header

Manchester City centre-back Nathan Ake scored twice in a little over half an hour as the Netherlands eased past 10-men Gibraltar, 200th in the FIFA rankings in Rotterdam.

Atletico Madrid forward Memphis Depay opened the scoring in the first half with a towering header before veteran Liam Walker was shown a red card the other side of the break.

The Netherlands lost in a mismatch with France on Friday in their opening Group B game.

In Group F, Sweden bounced back from a heavy opening defeat to Belgium by hammering Azerbaijan 5-0 in Solna.

Emile Forsberg, Viktor Gyokeres, Jesper Karlsson and Anthony Elanga netted for the hosts and Bahlul Mustafazade scored an own goal.

Austria avoided an upset at home to beat Estonia 2-1 despite trailing after 25 minutes from a Rauno Sappinen effort.

Cologne winger Florian Kainz opened his account for his country with 22 minutes to play before Michael Gregoritsch completed the comeback with two minutes to go.

Missed penalty

Real Madrid’s David Alaba came off the bench after 46 minutes after Gregoritsch has missed a first half penalty.

Dominik Szoboszlai superb free-kick set Hungary on their way to a 3-0 success over Bulgaria as they started their campaign clinically.

Elsewhere in Group G, Dusan Vlahovic’s double were more than enough as Serbia beat Montenegro 2-0 in only their their third meeting since Montenegro declared independence in 2006.

In Group E, the Czech Republic were held 0-0 by lowly Moldova as Karol Swiderski scored his ninth goal in 21 internationals as Poland beat Albania 1-0 after losing to the Czechs on Friday.

On Tuesday, the pick of the ties is in Group A as Spain head to Scotland with the next international window in June.