Mertens, Lukaku star as Belgium thump Estonia in qualifying
Belgium 8 - 1 Estonia

Mertens, Lukaku star as Belgium thump Estonia in qualifying

Belgium thumped Estonia 8-1 to make it four wins out of four in Group H of the World Cup qualifiers.

They may have conceded their first goal since the qualification process began but that was the only blemish as Belgium played some outstanding attacking football.

Dries Mertens would claim a hat trick -- though FIFA's scorers recorded his second as an own goal -- while Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku (two) also got on the scoresheet, with Henri Anier scoring for the visitors.

It took only eight minutes for the opening goal to come. Kevin De Bruyne found Carrasco on the left and he cut inside to float a cross to the back post where Meunier headed home his first international goal.

Lukaku hit a post four minutes later but the next goal was imminent, arriving just after the quarter-hour mark when De Bruyne rolled a free-kick across the edge of the area for Mertens to rifle home via a deflection.

It was 3-0 after 25 minutes as Eden Hazard got in on the action, beating Mihkel Aksalu at his near post with a thunderous effort.

Things briefly went off-script just before the half-hour mark as Carrasco had his pocket picked on the left of the Belgium area, and Taijo Teniste picked out Anier who turned to fire inside the far post.

Carrasco made amends for that mistake by bagging the fourth in the 63rd minute. Lukaku rolled the ball across the penalty area and he met it at the far post with an unstoppage shot.

Seconds later it was 5-1 when Mertens' cross hit Ragnar Klavan and spun over the line.

And Mertens scored again in sumptuous fashion in the 68th minute. The ball fell to him on the edge of the area and he took one touch before floating a shot over the reach of the goalkeeper and into the left corner of the goal.

Lukaku finally managed to get on the scoresheet in the last 10 minutes with a late brace adding further gloss to the scoreline.

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