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(World Cup qualifiers) Belgium rout Cyprus; Greece bounce back

Sports | Oct 11, 2017 10:54
Eden Hazard fired Belgium to a fifth straight World Cup qualifying victory, scoring twice for a 4-0 win in Cyprus yesterday, while Greece also beat Gibraltar 4-0 to edge Bosnia and Herzegovina for a place in the playoffs. 
Hazard raised Belgium's goal tally further, opening the scoring in the 12th minute after teammate Youri Tielemans poached the ball off defenders. 
Hazard scored a penalty in the second half, and brother Thorgan also found the net, celebrating his first goal for Belgium when he was able to tap in a rebound. 
Belgium were chasing the European record of 43 for most goals in a qualifying competition, either for a World Cup or European Championship, which Germany had just set in their qualifying group. 
In the 78th minute Romelu Lukaku _ returning from injury _ equaled the mark when he ran on to a long ball, shrugged off a hapless defender and scored with a low drive, his 11th goal in qualifying. 

GREECE REACHES PLAYOFFS 
Greece initially displayed weakness in attack, but Gibraltar eventually tired and conceded three times in the second half for the 4-0 loss, finishing with no points after 10 games in Group H. 
"We have rebounded from a bad spell and we are back in form,'' said Greece captain Vassilis Torosidis, who opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, meeting a cross from Carlos Zeca with an athletic header. 
Kostas Mitroglou scored twice in the second half, striking within two minutes, and Ioannis Gianniotas added the fourth. 
Bosnia could only hope for a group upset, but stayed behind Greece despite a 2-1 win in Estonia. 
The Bosnians pressed hard despite the dwindling odds of qualification. Izet Hajrovic got both goals for Bosnia, while Ilja Antonov scored for the hosts.-AP
 


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