Hazard on target in Belgium's comfortable win

An Emir Spahic own goal and efforts from Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Romelu Lukaku were enough to inspire a maiden home victory for Martinez.

Published : Oct 08, 2016 09:47 IST

Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring for Belgium.
Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring for Belgium.

Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring for Belgium.

Roberto Martinez's Belgium made it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying as it stylishly beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-0 in Brussels. An Emir Spahic own goal and efforts from Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Romelu Lukaku were enough to inspire a maiden home victory for Martinez, in complete contrast to his debut defeat against Spain.

Spahic had scored twice in Bosnia's opening Group H win over Estonia, but he helplessly diverted into his own net, before Hazard finished from Dries Mertens' magical assist. Although the visitors had been very much in with a shout up until the opener, it soon crumbled under Belgium's relentless attacking pressure.

Mehmed Bazdarevic's men came again after the break, but Alderweireld's finish from a corner killed the match off as Bosnia's momentum was building. Lukaku made up for missing a sitter by thumping in his third of the campaign to add further gloss to the scoreline, although it proved a frustrating night for brother Jordan as he was withdrawn with an apparent ankle injury. 

Haris Medunjanin lashed the game's first effort over the top, and when Lukaku then set Mertens away on the right side of the area at the other end, referee Martin Atkinson adjudged Ervin Zukanovic's crunching challenge to be a fair one. However, Belgium now had its tails up and a dazzling run from Yannick Carrasco teed up the opener after 26 minutes.

He jinked inside to pick out Thomas Meunier on the right and the 25-year-old's bobbling centre crashed against Spahic's shins and found the net. If the first was fortunate, though, the second, just three minutes later, was sublime.

Mertens glanced a glorious, deft pass across Spahic for Hazard to run onto; meeting the ball with ease, the Chelsea star rounded club team-mate Asmir Begovic and rolled into the corner from a tight angle. The all-action Mertens should have squared for Lukaku to make it three shortly before the interval, with Marouane Fellaini and Carrasco this time combining for the rampant hosts.

Zukanovic delivered from deep as Bosnia looked to rally from the restart, but Edin Dzeko wastefully nodded over, and Hazard was soon on the break again and shooting into Begovic's arms. After Mertens did likewise, the Napoli man then laid on the third.

His corner from the left was met by Alderweireld's flick at the near post, beating the despairing Begovic with a piece of skill echoing Mertens' earlier assist for the second. Thibaut Courtois finally made a first save from Dzeko, but Belgium was instantly back on the attack and Lukaku somehow blazed off target when Carrasco had presented him with an open goal.

Carrasco then tried himself, drawing a fine stop from Begovic, before Milan Djuric looped a header onto the crossbar with Courtois beaten. Lukaku finally got his goal, though, turning onto his right to power home from outside the area. But Belgium was sent on its way to Gibraltar for their next outing on a slightly sour note as Fellaini's second booking of the campaign rules him out of that clash.

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