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