Davy Propper scored a brace as Netherlands kept their World Cup qualification hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria in Amsterdam.

Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Propper, one of three players brought in by Dick Advocaat after Thursday's heavy defeat to France, scored his first international goal early on.

Captain Arjen Robben doubled Netherlands' advantage after the break, before Bulgaria's Georgi Kostadinov got the faintest of touches on Ivelin Popov's free-kick to ensure the hosts were made to work for victory.

Propper then headed in with 10 minutes remaining to secure a win that gave Netherlands some revenge after their 2-0 loss to Bulgaria in March, which proved to be the last straw prior to the sacking of former coach Danny Blind.

Netherlands move above Bulgaria into third in Group A, but still face a tough task to qualify, as Sweden – who defeated Belarus – sit three points clear of them with only two games to play.

The Oranje's hopes are further complicated by Sweden holding a much stronger goal difference. France are also three clear, but can extend that to six with a win at home to Luxembourg later on Sunday.

Bulgaria are four adrift of Sweden with their hopes of reaching Russia now faint at best.


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