Belgium soars, Po ugal survive scare in qualifiers
BELGIUM hammered Estonia 8-1 to advance out of Group H, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal survived a scare before overcoming Latvia 4-1 in World Cup qualifying on November 13.
There were braces from Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens as Belgium ran rampant with more goals from Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco and an own goal to make it four wins from four.
In the same group Greece scored a 95th-minute equaliser through Giorgos Tzavellas after a free-kick had given Bosnia the lead as the ball rebounded back off the post and in off goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
The point for Greece means they have 10 from four games in Group H, two behind the Belgians.
Gibraltar made a piece of history, scoring their first-ever World Cup qualifier away goal before agonisingly falling to Cyprus, 3-1.
Ronaldo helped Portugal recover from a second-half wobble in Lisbon to remain three points adrift of Group B leaders Switzerland.
Earlier in Group B, the Faroe Islands were similarly plucky in soggy Lucerne, where Switzerland scored seven minutes from the end through Stephan Lichtsteiner to grind out a 2-0 victory and maintain their 100 percent record.
In the same group Hungary hammered Andorra 4-0 at home.
Out-of-favour Manchester United winger Memphis Depay scored twice off the bench to save the Netherlands in Luxembourg.
The 3-1 victory keeps the misfiring Dutch in the hunt for a place at Russia 2018, but they will need to play better if they are to trump the twin threats of table-toppers France and Sweden in Group A.
Arjen Robben, whose brilliant career has been blighted by injury, failed to make it out for the second half. Wesley Sneijder was also hooked at the break.
Also in Group A, Bulgaria edged Belarus 1-0 in Sofia. –
Belgium’s Thomas Meunier breaks free of Estonia’s Siim Luts during a World Cup qualifier on November 13. Belgium won 8-1.