Monday 04 September 2017, 00:00

Belgium bound for Russia 2018

  • Belgium secured qualification to next year’s FIFA World Cup on Sunday

  • A 2-1 victory away to Greece ensured the Red Devils their spot at Russia 2018

  • Belgium join Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, and hosts Russia at the world finals

Belgium became the first European side to join hosts Russia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ after a 2-1 victory away to Greece on Sunday ensured the Red Devils will finish top of UEFA Group H, and with it, claim the automatic qualification spot.

After cruising past Gibraltar 9-0 on Thursday, Roberto Martinez’s side found the Greeks to be a much tougher opponent to break down in Piraeus on Sunday evening. It was not until late in the second half that the Belgians secured the victory they needed following a frenetic few minutes of play.

Jan Vertonghen gave the visitors the lead on 70 minutes before Greece levelled matters through Zeca three minutes later. A minute, however, Romelu Lukaku became Belgium’s hero, as he struck the winner to ensure celebrations lasted long into Sunday night in his homeland.

Russia 2018 will be the 13th time that the Red Devils have appeared at the world finals (1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014, 2018).