Belgium Become First European Team to Qualify for 2018 World Cup – Details
Romelu Lukaku’s goal allowed Belgium to become the first European nation to clinch qualification for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday as much-fancied France were held to an embarrassing goalless draw by Luxembourg. Manchester United striker Lukaku headed in a Thomas Meunier cross in the 74th minute in Piraeus for the decisive goal in a 2-1 Belgium win that guaranteed them top spot in European qualifying Group H. All the goals came in a frantic five-minute spell, with a low drive by Jan Vertonghen putting Roberto Martinez’s side ahead in the 70th minute.
Portuguese-born midfielder Zeca equalised for Greece only for Lukaku to grab the decisive goal — his 10th in seven qualifiers — a minute later.
With just two matches remaining, Belgium enjoy an unassailable eight-point lead over second-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina, for whom Edin Dzeko netted twice in a 4-0 win over Gibraltar.
Belgium join Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico and hosts Russia in guaranteeing a place at next year’s finals.