Ben­teke, Silva score hat-tricks as Bel­gium, Por­tu­gal score easy wins

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Chris­tian Ben­teke and An­dre Silva scored hat-tricks as Bel­gium and Por­tu­gal scored easy 6-0 wins over mod­est op­po­nents yes­ter­day evening.

European cham­pi­ons Por­tu­gal de­feated Faroe Is­lands in Tor­shavn while Bel­gium beat tiny Gi­bral­tar.

In the top match of the day in Group A, France man­aged to beat the Nether­lands in Am­s­ter­dam with Manch­ester United striker Paul Pogba scor­ing what proved to be the win­ner on 30 min­utes.

He beat Dutch goalie Steke­len­burg with a hard shot from 30 me­tres, the ball go­ing in via the goalie’s hands.

In the same group, Swe­den beat Bul­garia 3-0. The Swedes led 2-0 at the in­ter­val with Toivo­nen giv­ing them the lead on 39 min­utes and Hil­je­mark net­ting a se­cond in first half added time. When Lin­de­loef scored a third 13 min­utes into the se­cond half, the match was as good as over with Swe­den go­ing to the top of the Group A stand­ings to­gether with France.

In Minsk, home side Be­larus thought they had reg­is­tered their first win when Sav­it­skiy scored in the 80th minute to put them ahead against Lux­em­bourg. But the lat­ter ob­tained an equaliser five min­utes later through Aure­lien Joachim.

France and Swe­den lead the stand­ings on 7 points, fol­lowed by the Nether­lands on four.

In Group B, European cham­pi­ons Por­tu­gal found it eas­ier than ex­pected to beat the Faroe Is­lands 6-0.

A hat-trick from An­dre Silva gave them a strong half-time cush­ion as he found the net on 12, 22 and 37 min­utes.

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo then scored the fourth goal on 65 min­utes. In added time, Moutinho and Cancelo com­pleted the rout with two more goals.

Group lead­ers Switzer­land had to fight harder than ex­pected to beat the stiff re­sis­tance from home side An­dorra 2-1.

Schaer gave them a 1-0 half time lead with a goal in the 19th minute. And they had to wait till the 77th minute to add a se­cond from Ad­mit Mehmedi. Martinez scored a con­so­la­tion goal for An­dorra in added time.

Switzer­land re­main three points ahead of Por­tu­gal af­ter three matches.

In Riga, Hun­gary ob­tained their first vic­tory as they beat Latvia 20 with a goal in each half. Gyursco opened the scor­ing af­ter 10 min­utes. Sza­lai added the se­cond on 77 min­utes.

In Group H, Bel­gium found lit­tle re­sis­tance from tiny Gi­bral­tar as they ran out easy 6-0 win­ners.

Ben­teke led the way with a first minute goal – he then scored his se­cond and Bel­gium’s third in the 43rd minute. Wit­sel had made it 2-0 on 19 min­utes. Mertens added a fourth goal on 51 min­utes, while Ben­teke ob­tained his hat­trick in the 55th minute. It was Haz­ard who scored the sixth and fi­nal goal on 79 min­utes.

In the same Group, Greece were on their way to a third con­sec­u­tive win in Tallinn as they took a 1-0 half time lead over home side Es­to­nia. It was Toro­sidis who paved the way for their win with a se­cond minute goal. Stafy­lidis made sure of their win by scor­ing a se­cond in the 61st minute.

Also in this group, Bos­nia ob­tained their se­cond con­sec­u­tive win as Edin Dzeko scored two goals in the fi­nal 20 min­utes to help his side de­feat Cyprus 2-0.

Paul Pogba cel­e­brates scor­ing for France against the Nether­lands yes­ter­day

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