France deal Dutch World Cup blow as Benteke races to fastest goal

France dealt the Netherlands a major blow in their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over the Dutch in Amsterdam on Monday.

Belgium's Christian Benteke meanwhile went into the record books with a the quickest-ever World Cup qualifying goal in a 6-0 rout of Gibraltar, while Andre Silva scored a first-half hat-trick for European champions Portugal in a 6-0 win at the Faroe Islands.

Euro 2016 finalists France grabbed all the points in the evening's Group A crunch match over the Dutch, who are in danger of missing out on another major finals after failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, the most expensive player in history, was the match winner with a powerful long-range strike on the half hour which keeper Maarten Stekelenburg could not keep out.

"It was a long-range shot but was difficult as it swerved to the right just before it reached me," the Everton keeper told RTL television.

"They controlled the game a little bit in the first half without creating many chance. We had a big chance through Memphis (Depay) in the second half but it didn't go in. Over the whole game I think we deserved a point."

France are level in the group on seven points with Sweden who handed Bulgaria a 3-0 drubbing in Solna, courtesy of goals from Ola Toivonen, Oscar Hijjemark and Victor Lindelof. The Dutch are now three points adrift.

Switzerland stayed top of Group B with a 2-1 victory at rank outsiders Andorra to give them maximum nine points.

Portugal meanwhile coasted to the three points at Faroe Islands where Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho and Joao Cancelo added to Andre Silva's treble - a second 6-0 win for Portugal after Friday's trouncing of Andorra to move them to six points. Hungary meanwhile stay in the chase on four points with a 2-0 victory at Latvia.

Belgium stayed top of Group H with a 6-0 thrashing of Gibraltar in a match played in Faro, Portugal.

Crystal Palace striker Benteke scored immediately after kick-off and went on to notch a hat-trick while Axel Witsel, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard were also on target.

World governing body FIFA said Benteke scored "inside seven seconds", while European body UEFA timed the goal at 8.1 seconds.

FIFA said it was "the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history" while UEFA called it "the quickest ever goal in competitive internationals," beating the record of 8.3 seconds set by San Marino's Davide Gualtieri against England in November 1993. Belgium said it was the fastest goal in their national team's history.

Greece stayed level with Belgium on a perfect nine points after earning a 2-0 win over Estonia in Tallinn, while Edin Dzeko scored both goals as Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Cyprus 2-0 in Zenica to move to six points.

Belarus and Luxembourg drew 1-1 in a match between two lowly Group A teams.

Nine European World Cup qualifiers are scheduled for Tuesday in Groups C, E and F, including world champions Germany against Northern Ireland, and Slovenia against England.

Last update: Mon, 10/10/2016 - 23:16
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