Benteke nets World Cup’s fastest goal
GENEVA (AP): THE FASTEST goal in World Cup history capped a night of 6-0 routs and The Netherlands’ further fall in European qualifying yesterday.
Seven seconds ticked by when Belgium forward Christian Benteke’s shot finished his surging run through the Gibraltar defence, which kicked off but coughed up the ball.
Benteke beat the 8.3 seconds that FIFA timed Davide Gaultieri taking to score for San Marino against England in 1993 and set the tone for the visiting Belgians’ 6-0 win.
Portugal also won 6-0, but needed only a single excellent goal from Cristiano Ronaldo to dominate the Faeroe Islands.
Instead, 20-year-old Andre Silva stepped up with a first-half hat-trick in just his fourth international match — perhaps finally pairing Ronaldo with a true penalty-area predator for the freshly crowned European champion.
Dutch decline has been steep since it followed runner-up and third-place finishes at the last two World Cups with failure to qualify for an expanded Euro 2016.
A 1-0 loss at home to France was the latest setback, sealed by Paul Pogba’s powerful shot from 30 yards in the first half.
Belgium and France top their groups, though Portugal trail Switzerland, which won their third straight qualifier, 2-1 at lowly Andorra.
Only the nine European group winners advance directly to play in Russia and four runners-up will qualify through a play-off round.