FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Belgium thump Belarus 8-0

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FIFA World Cup European qualifiers: Serbia vs Portugal: Matchday 3 in Group E between saw Belgium thump Belarus 8-0. Belgium’s second-string used the opportunity of a rare start to impress coach Roberto Martinez as they absolutely crushed Belarus in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

With Martinez warning players were under scrutiny for places in the Euro 2020 squad, Michy Batshuayi, Hans Vanaken, Leandro Trossard, Jeremy Doku, Denis Praet and Christian Benteke all scored as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens were given the night off.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Belgium thump Belarus 8-0

It lifted Belgium to seven points from their opening trio of matches in Group E, while Belarus suffered their first defeat after opening their qualifying bid with a 4-2 win over Estonia at the weekend.

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Serbia holds Portugal to a 2-2 draw

Belgium, top of the FIFA rankings, were 4-0 up at halftime at Den Dreef as they inflicted Belarus’ heaviest ever defeat.

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The Czech Republic had started the day at the summit but dropped to second after losing to Wales.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez could even afford the luxury of leaving star players Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku on the bench for his team’s third match of this qualifying campaign.

They were not required as Belgium eased to victory, Martinez’s side 5-0 ahead inside 50 minutes as they opened up a three-point lead at the top of the group.

Before kick-off, the Belgium team came on to the field wearing black T-shirts featuring the words “football supports change”, in reference to the well-publicised plight of migrant workers in Qatar, hosts of the next World Cup.

It followed similar messages to those promoted by the Netherlands, Norway and Germany teams in the past few days.