Belgium become 1st European team to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 World Cup

Manchester United striker Lukaku headed in a Thomas Meunier cross in the 74th minute in Piraeus for the decisive goal in a 2-1 Belgium win that guaranteed it top spot in European qualifying Group H.

Roberto Martinez's men are now six points clear at the top of Group H with three games left to play and are yet to lose a game so far in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Brazil became the first team to qualify, followed by Iran, while Russian Federation gain an automatic spot as hosts.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has said that he is proud of his players after they secured a place at next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

I was really proud with the way the players fought.

Belgium's celebrations were cut short three minutes later when Greece's Portugal-born Zeca side-footed home to equalise after Georgios Tzavelas sent over a pinpoint cross. But the game was only about winning, it was like a cup final. There were a few that really stood up (Thibaut) Courtois, (Kevin) De Bruyne, Vertonghen, (Marouane) Fellaini. I had asked the team to win at all costs.

"We're going to try to achieve the highest possible level with our clubs so that we can be ready", said the former Everton, Chelsea and Anderlecht forward, who said he had prayed and then phoned his mum after the win in Greece.

"The first half of the game was probably the worst football we've played in this campaign".

In fact, Belgium have only dropped points once so far in the group, against Sunday's opponents in a 1-1 draw in Brussels back in March.


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