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Romelu Lukaku on target as Belgium hit Estonia for eight in qualifier

Football Soccer - Belgium v Estonia - World Cup 2018 Qualifier

Romelu Lukaku helped give his former Everton manager Roberto Martínez a night to remember hit Belgium for eight against Estonia in their World Cup qualifier in Brussels.

The Red Devils have won their first three qualification games under Martínez and they impressed once more as they ran out 8-1 victors. Thomas Meunier headed the hosts ahead early on before Dries Mertens and the Chelsea forward Eden Hazard struck.

Henri Anier pulled one back for Estonia to give them hope heading into the second half but Belgium ramped things up and ran roughshod over the visitors’ defence. Yannick Carrasco converted Lukaku’s cross before Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan scored an unfortunate own-goal.

Mertens added his second of the game before Lukaku added the seventh and eighth with clinical finishes late on.

The win means Belgium are now clear at the top of Group H, with Greece in second spot after Giorgos Tzavellas’ stoppage-time equaliser at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Both sides finished with 10 men in Athens with Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Edin Dzeko dismissed after a clash with 10 minutes remaining.

The visitors looked set to hang on to the lead given to them by the goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis’ first-half own-goal when Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick hit a post, hit him and went in, but Tzavellas lashed home from outside the area with seconds left on the clock.

Cyprus took their first points in the group as they beat 10-man Gibraltar 3-1.

Constantinos Laifis put the hosts in Nicosia ahead with a smart finish on 29 minutes but Gibraltar were level when Lee Casciaro headed home shortly after the break.

Pieros Sotiriou re-established Cyprus’ lead, with Valentinos Sielis adding a third after Jayce Olivero had seen red for the visitors.

Portugal eventually came out on top as they won 4-1 against Latvia, with the captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring twice and also missing a penalty for the European champions.

The Real Madrid forward, who has just penned a new deal at the Bernabéu, struck away one penalty, after Gints Freimanis had fouled Nani but, after Glebs Kluskins felled Andre Gomes on the hour, Ronaldo scuffed his second spot-kick against a post.

Latvia threatened to make him pay for his miss as Arturs Zjuzins levelled but their hope was short-lived as William Carvalho’s header had Portugal back in front a little over a minute later.

Ronaldo atoned for his penalty miss by volleying in a third before Bruno Alves wrapped up the win in the last minute.

Switzerland are in control of Group B as they maintained their perfect start to the qualification campaign with a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

The Galatasaray striker Eren Derdiyok put the hosts ahead in Lucerne with a close-range finish before the half-hour but the points were not secured until the captain, Stephan Lichsteiner, headed home with seven minutes remaining.

Hungary also remain in the hunt as they eased to a 4-0 success over Andorra in Budapest.

Zoltan Gera finished from 12 yards to open the scoring with Adam Lang doubling Hungary’s lead before the interval as he tucked away Balazs Dzsudzsak’s cross for his first international goal.

And it was much the same after the break as Adam Gyurcsco made it three and Adam Szalai wrapped up a comfortable win by adding a fourth two minutes from time.

The out-of-favour Manchester United forward Memphis Depay came off the bench to score a match-winning brace for Holland against Luxembourg.

The 22-year-old has started only once under José Mourinho and been linked with a January move away from Old Trafford. But he showed what he is capable of as he headed home his club-mate Daley Blind’s free-kick from close range to put the Dutch back in front after Maxime Chanot’s first-half penalty had cancelled out Arjen Robben’s opener.

And Depay was not finished as he tucked away a late free-kick to secure the points for Danny Blind’s side and move them up to second place in Group A behind France.

Bulgaria are a point adrift of Holland after picking up their second victory in qualification as a 10th-minute goal from Ivelin Popov was enough to secure a 1-0 win over 10-man Belarus in Sofia.

Popov rose to head home Spas Delev’s cross and Belarus could not respond, their case being further hampered when the experienced Aleksandr Hleb was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Press Association, for The Guardian on Sunday 13th November 2016 22.53 Europe/London

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