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Gibraltar 0 Belgium 6: Benteke breaks fastest goal record, scores hat-trick in rout

Christian Benteke scored the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history by netting the first strike of his hat-trick after seven seconds as Belgium won 6-0 against Gibraltar in Group H.

Belgium remain top of the section after their emphatic victory in Faro, with Crystal Palace striker Benteke scoring his first international goals since March 2015.

Despite Gibraltar kicking off, they lost possession rapidly and Benteke ran through on goal to score the record-breaking opener, adding his team’s third before half-time after Axel Witsel’s deflected drive made it 2-0.

Dries Mertens scored Belgium’s fourth after 51 minutes, beating helpless goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim with a lofted finish, before Benteke completed his treble with a neat backheel from Eden Hazard’s pass.

And captain Hazard himself wrapped up the scoring after 79 minutes, slotting home following a mistake by the Gibraltar captain Roy Chipolina created a clear chance in the box.

Belgium are joined at the top of Group G by Greece, with both sides having taken a maximum nine points from their three games, while Gibraltar remain pointless.

The visitors took the lead within seconds and the speed of the goal was even more extraordinary as Gibraltar took the kick-off.

Ryan Casciaro was caught on the ball and Benteke skipped past Chipolina before smashing in.

Thomas Meunier hit the post after 11 minutes as Gibraltar struggled to cope with Belgium, and the second goal arrived soon afterwards.

Witsel found space outside the box and unleashed a firm drive that took a deflection off Ryan Casciaro on its way in, handing the midfielder his eighth Belgium goal.

Thibaut Courtois was called into action for the first time after 30 minutes when Kyle Casciaro let fly from distance, the Chelsea goalkeeper diving high to his left to tip the strike over the crossbar.

But Belgium’s third goal arrived shortly before half-time, with Benteke again on target.

Hazard picked out Meunier at the back post with a deep left-wing cross and the right-back knocked the ball back into the middle for Benteke to slot in from close range.

The goals continued to come after the break as Steven Defour picked out Mertens with a throughball, the winger cutting in off the left flank to lift a cute finish over goalkeeper Ibrahim.

Benteke then secured the match ball by flicking home Hazard’s low cross with his trailing leg as Roberto Martinez’s men began to enjoy themselves in the final third.

Defour went close to marking his first international start in two years with a goal after 68 minutes, but his shot was cleared off the line, then Ibrahim saved with his legs from substitute Kevin Mirallas.

But Ibrahim was soon beaten again with Hazard’s thumping finish adding his name to the scoresheet to make it two goals in two games for Belgium.

Mirallas clipped the post with three minutes to go and was denied by Ibrahim in stoppage-time but Belgium had to settle for six in a very comfortable victory.

Mon 10 Oct, 2016
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