Belgium becomes first European country to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Vertonghen- cropped

Belgium have become the 1st European side to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russian Federation, after defeating hosts Greece 2-1.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has said that he is proud of his players after they secured a place at next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

According to FIFA, Belgium is the ninth-ranked team in the world, so it's no surprise to find them atop UEFA Group H in qualifying. They each have two games to play.

He said: "We must be proud about being the first from Europe to qualify and now look to work harder to become better".

Anastasios Donis surged forward from midfield and tested Thibaut Courtois, then Konstantinos Stafylidis produced a thumping drive which was heading for the top corner until the goalkeeper tipped it away.

Belgium had taken the lead through Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen in the 70th minute, but Gonçalves Rodrigues equalised for Greece soon after.

Romelu Lukaku scored the decisive goal in the 74th minute as the Red Devils moved onto 22 points in the section, ensuring that they could not be caught by second-place Bosnia-Herzegovina or third-place Greece in the latter stages of the campaign.

It could have been worse for the hosts too, Belgium needing an 89th-minute equaliser from Romelu Lukaku to rescue a point in a frantic finish with Greece ending the game with nine men.

Bosnia needed 35 minutes to break the deadlock before Dzeko scored with a powerful near-post header.

Estonia is fifth with eight points while last-place Gibraltar has lost all eight matches.



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