Greece 1-2 Belgium: Lukaku sends Belgium to World Cup

Romelu Lukaku celebrates after his winning goal against Greece

Romelu Lukaku celebrates after his winning goal against Greece


Belgium became the first European team to qualify for next year’s World Cup when a Romelu Lukaku header gave them a 2-1 win in Greece on Sunday.

Belgium became the sixth team to make sure of their place at the 2018 tournament alongside Brazil, Japan, Iran and Mexico, plus Russia who qualified automatically as hosts.

The win left Belgium with 22 points from eight games at the top of Group H, eight clear of Bosnia who won 4-0 away to Gibraltar. They have two games each to play.

The winners of the nine European groups qualify directly and the best eight runners-up play off for four more places.

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The goals all came in a five-minute spell during the second half. Jan Vertonghen gave Belgium the lead in the 70th minute with a left-foot drive into the bottom corner.

Belgium’s celebrations were cut short three minutes later when Greece’s Portugal-born Zeca side-footed home after Georgios Tzavelas sent over a pinpoint cross to equalise.

But one minute after that, Lukaku headed into the far corner after being picked out by Thomas Meunier.

Greece dropped to third with 13 points after managing only one point from two home games in the space of four days.