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Lukaku header gains World Cup spot for Belgium

/ 05:36 PM September 04, 2017

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates at the end of the World Cup Group H qualifying soccer match between Greece and Belgium at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. Belgium won 2-1. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Romelu Lukaku was on target Sunday to give Belgium a 2-1 win over Greece and a place at next year’s World Cup.

The Group H fixture was goalless until the 70th minute when Jan Vertonghen blasted the visitors into the lead with a fierce shot.

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Greece responded three minutes later through Zeca, but only one more minute passed before Belgium retook the lead thanks to Lukaku’s header. It was the Manchester United forward’s 10th goal of the qualifying campaign.

Victory leaves the Belgians top with an unassailable eight-point lead over second-place Bosnia-Herzegovina. That makes Belgium the first European team confirmed for the World Cup besides host nation Russia.

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Belgium is unbeaten in qualifying, with seven wins and a 1-1 draw at home to Greece in March.

The Belgians have scored 35 goals and conceded just three in a group where they were considered the overwhelming favorites.

Two goals from Edin Dzeko helped the Bosnians beat Gibraltar 4-0 to leapfrog Greece into second place. Belgium has 22 points, Bosnia-Herzegovina 14, Greece 13 and Cyprus 10.

Cyprus’s hopes of qualifying took another blow in a 1-0 loss away to Estonia, thanks to Mattias Kait’s winning goal in the dying seconds.

Estonia is fifth with eight points while last-place Gilbraltar has lost all eight matches.

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TAGS: Belgium, Football, Greece, Romelu Lukaku, World Cup Qualifying
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