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.

Betting on WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFIERS? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Ousmane Dembele leads 10-man France to friendly win over England

Ousmane Dembele leads 10-man France to friendly win over England

Ousmane Dembele scored his first international goal to give 10-man France a 3-2 win over England in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday night.

Argentina put six goals past Singapore in friendly romp

Argentina put six goals past Singapore in friendly romp

Argentina strolled to a 6-0 win over Singapore at the National Stadium in a one-sided international friendly on Tuesday evening.

Diego Souza scores brace as Brazil rout Australia

Diego Souza scores brace as Brazil rout Australia

Diego Souza scored after just 11 seconds as Brazil beat Australia 4-0 in their friendly at the MCG.

Italy overcome slow start to thrash minnows Liechtenstein

Italy overcome slow start to thrash minnows Liechtenstein

Italy were less than totally convincing throughout their 5-0 victory over minnows Liechtenstein in Udine but the three points keep them on a positive path as they strive to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

David Silva and Diego Costa on target as Spain beat plucky Macedonia

David Silva and Diego Costa on target as Spain beat plucky Macedonia

David Silva and Diego Costa were on target but Spain made hard work of seeing off Macedonia in Skopje.

Kane rescues England in extraordinary finale against Scotland

Kane rescues England in extraordinary finale against Scotland

Captain Harry Kane earned England a point in stoppage time after a stunning late Leigh Griffiths double looked like giving Scotland a memorable victory at Hampden Park.

Record-breaking birthday boy Sneijder scores in Dutch win

Record-breaking birthday boy Sneijder scores in Dutch win

Netherlands ran out 5-0 winners against Luxembourg in Dick Advocaat's first game back as manager of the Dutch.

Late Hugo Lloris howler hands France shock defeat in Sweden

Late Hugo Lloris howler hands France shock defeat in Sweden

Ola Toivonen's stoppage-time strike from the halfway line earned Sweden a dramatic 2-1 win over France in Group A of World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Portugal cruise with Cristiano Ronaldo brace

Portugal cruise with Cristiano Ronaldo brace

Cristiano Ronaldo provided two goals and an assist to lead Portugal to a 3-0 win over Latvia in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

RELATED NEWS

Ousmane Dembele leads 10-man France to friendly win over England
France 3 - 2 England

Ousmane Dembele leads 10-man France to friendly win over England

Ousmane Dembele scored his first international goal to give 10-man France a 3-2 win over England in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday night.

Argentina put six goals past Singapore in friendly romp
Singapore 0 - 6 Argentina

Argentina put six goals past Singapore in friendly romp

Argentina strolled to a 6-0 win over Singapore at the National Stadium in a one-sided international friendly on Tuesday evening.

Diego Souza scores brace as Brazil rout Australia
Australia 0 - 4 Brazil

Diego Souza scores brace as Brazil rout Australia

Diego Souza scored after just 11 seconds as Brazil beat Australia 4-0 in their friendly at the MCG.

Italy overcome slow start to thrash minnows Liechtenstein
Italy 5 - 0 Liechtenstein

Italy overcome slow start to thrash minnows Liechtenstein

Italy were less than totally convincing throughout their 5-0 victory over minnows Liechtenstein in Udine but the three points keep them on a positive path as they strive to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

David Silva and Diego Costa on target as Spain beat plucky Macedonia
Macedonia 1 - 2 Spain

David Silva and Diego Costa on target as Spain beat plucky Macedonia

David Silva and Diego Costa were on target but Spain made hard work of seeing off Macedonia in Skopje.

Kane rescues England in extraordinary finale against Scotland
Scotland 2 - 2 England

Kane rescues England in extraordinary finale against Scotland

Captain Harry Kane earned England a point in stoppage time after a stunning late Leigh Griffiths double looked like giving Scotland a memorable victory at Hampden Park.

Record-breaking birthday boy Sneijder scores in Dutch win
Netherlands 5-0 Luxembourg

Record-breaking birthday boy Sneijder scores in Dutch win

Netherlands ran out 5-0 winners against Luxembourg in Dick Advocaat's first game back as manager of the Dutch.

Late Hugo Lloris howler hands France shock defeat in Sweden
Sweden 2 - 1 France

Late Hugo Lloris howler hands France shock defeat in Sweden

Ola Toivonen's stoppage-time strike from the halfway line earned Sweden a dramatic 2-1 win over France in Group A of World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Portugal cruise with Cristiano Ronaldo brace
Portugal 3-0 Latvia

Portugal cruise with Cristiano Ronaldo brace

Cristiano Ronaldo provided two goals and an assist to lead Portugal to a 3-0 win over Latvia in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.