Belgium eased to a 3-0 victory over Scotland in football’s Euro 2020 qualifiers to stay at the top of Group I on Tuesday 11th June. A brace from Romelu Lukaku, as well as an injury time strike from Kevin De Bruyne was enough to condemn Steve Clark to his first defeat as Scotland manager.
As expected, Belgium started the game with lots of possession as their captain Eden Hazard looked lively. The Real Madrid bound forward found De Bruyne through on goal early in the game, but the Manchester City midfielder’s shot was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper David Marshall.
De Bruyne had a few more attempts denied by Marshall as the hosts were left frustrated for much of the first-half. But the breakthrough came right before the break, Hazard’s cross was headed into the back-of-the-net by Lukaku to put the home side ahead. They doubled their lead just before the hour mark after De Bruyne’s shot was saved by Marshall. Lukaku slotted in the rebound.
The Manchester United striker wasted a chance to get his hat-trick minutes later after firing an effort inches wide of the goal. Belgium finally got their deserved third goal in injury time. De Bruyne fired an effort from the edge of the box after combining with substitute Dries Mertens to put the icing on the cake in a dominant performance.
In the Group C encounter, Germany ruthlessly thrashed Estonia 8-0 at the Opel Arena in Mainz. Marco Reus put the home side ahead in the 10th minute before Serge Gnabry doubled the lead in the 17th minute.
Minutes later Joshua Kimmich’s cross was headed into the net by Leon Goretzka to put the Germans three up inside 20 minutes. Not long later, things were beginning to get embarrassing for Estonia as Germany were gifted a fourth. Goretzka was brought down in the penalty area which led to the referee pointing and awarding a penalty. Ilkay Gundogan stepped up and slotted the spot-kick into the back-of-the-net.
The rout continued in the 36th minute as Reus delightfully curled in a free-kick for Germany’s fifth and his second goal of the game. The hosts went into the break five goals up. The sixth goal of the game came on the hour mark as Gnabry tapped in from Marcel Halstenberg’s low cross. Timo Werner came off the bench to add a seventh in the 78th minute before Sane added an eighth goal late on to complete an emphatic victory.
The win keeps the pressure on Northern Ireland who are three points clear at the top of Group C.