Belgium hits eight as Hazard gives injury scare

Belgium thrashed Estonia 8-1 to extend their lead at the top of Group H in their World Cup qualifier in Brussels even as Eden Hazard gave an injury scare.

The Red Devils have won their first three qualification games under Roberto Martinez and they impressed once more – with Thomas Meunier heading the hosts ahead early on before Dries Mertens and team captain Eden Hazard struck.

Henri Anier pulled one back for Estonia to give them hope heading into the second half but Belgium ramped things up and ran roughshod over the visitors’ defence. Yannick Carrasco converted Romelu Lukaku’s cross before Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan scored an unfortunate own-goal.

Mertens added his second of the game before Lukaku added the seventh and eighth with clinical finishes late on.

However, Belgium had to replace Hazard 73 minutes in after the Chelsea player picked up a knock and signalling to the bench he was unable to continue. While it was unclear how bad the injury was, it will be a further blow to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, as Blues star striker Diego Costa also struggles for fitness.

Still, the win means that Belgium are now clear at the top of Group H, with Greece in second spot after Giorgos Tzavellas’ stoppage-time equaliser at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The match in Athens saw both sides finish with 10 men, after both Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Edin Dzeko dismissed after a clash with 10 minutes remaining.

Bosnia-Herzegovina looked set to win with Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis’ first-half own-goal when Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick hit a post, hit him and went in, but Tzavellas lashed home from outside the area with seconds left on the clock to deny the visitors.

The draw meant that third-place Bosnia-Herzegovina, who could have been level on points with Greece with a win, has to settle for third place.

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