2018 WCQ: Netherlands on the brink, as Belgium walk all over Gibraltar

2018 WCQ: Netherlands on the brink, as Belgium walk all over Gibraltar

The road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia continued with nine matches played across Europe on Thursday, and fans were treated to a flurry of goals as there were 37 scored last night.

The biggest win of the night came in Liege, where Belgium took their time to spell Gibraltar, following a 9-0 thrashing.

France defeated the Netherlands 4-0, while Portugal were 5-1 winners over the Faroe Islands.

Switzerland were, well, just Switzerland, while Bulgaria did France a favour in group A with a shock result over former group leaders, Sweden with a 3-2 win.

Group A

France 4-0 Netherlands

Thomas Lemar celebrating one of his goals

Holland needed to avoid a defeat to keep their slim chances of making at least the playoffs alive, but met an inspired French side, that handed them a 4-0 hiding.

Antoine Griezmann gave them a first half lead, before Arsenal and Liverpool target, Thomas Lemar grabbed a second midway through the second, with the away side already down to ten men following Kevin Strootman’s sending off.

Lemar made it 3-0 two minutes before time, with substitute Kylian Mbappe celebrating his move to PSG with his first international goal for France in stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Bulgaria did France a huge favour by beating Sweden 3-2, maintaining their unbeaten record at home, while Luxembourg picked their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 win over Belarus.

France now lead Group A, followed by Sweden in second.

Group B

Switzerland were Switzerland as they continued from where they left off with a 3-0 spanking of Andorra to continue their 100% record in the qualifiers, and remain favorites for the sole automatic ticket.

Portugal were 5-1 victors over Faroe Islands, with Cristiano Ronaldo registering a hat trick, which moved him to fifth in the all-time goalscorers chart, with 78 goals, and above Brazil legend, Pele, who scored 77goals for Brazil.

Portugal remain second, three points behind Switzerland, while Hungary are third, following a 3-1 defeat of Latvia.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Group H

Belgium moved within a win of booking a place in ext year’s World Cup with a comfortable 9-0 decimation of sorry Gibraltar, with Romelu Lukaku and fullback, Thomas Meunier, scoring three goals apiece.

Axel Witsel, who was later red carded, Eden Hazard and Mertens completed the scoring for the host, in the match played in Liege.

In the other group matches, Greece were held to a disappointing draw at home by Estonia, while Bosnia-Herzegovina were stunned 3-2 by Cyprus, after letting a 2-0 lead slip away.

Romelu Lukaku celebrating a goal

Goal of the night;

The goal of the night was scored by Axel Witsel, in Belgium’s 9-0 win, where he scored a beautifully executed acrobatic goal, before turning to a villain and was sent off for a poor tackle.

Images;
Lukaku (@ManUtd)
France(@Skysports)

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