Belgium down Italy and confirm number 1 spot

In football, the Belgian national team has beaten Italy 3-1, despite an early scare. Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was in splendid form and contributed to the Belgian win with a couple top-notch saves. Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen, Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and Olympique Marseille's Michy Batshuayi were the Belgian goalscorers.

It was Belgium's first match after claiming the number 1 spot on FIFA's world ranking for countries in October (after downed Israel and Andorra in the European qualifiers). Although it was a friendly match, it was a good test as Italy had some excellent results recently, and as they boast a strong defence.

A largely full-strength Italy took the lead inside 3 minutes when Mignolet pulled off a great save on a Graziano Pelle effort, but Antonio Candreva was quick to tap the rebound in.

Belgium sending a warning

Belgium found it hard to create goal-scoring opportunities against a tactically strong Italian side, but a thundering Vertonghen header levelled the score before the break and Belgium steamrolled through after the break.

Belgium had more chances than in the first half, although the Italians were swift on the counter-attack. When needed, Mignolet denied the Italians a second goal (and he once enjoyed the help from the bar), while De Bruyne (photo) and Batshuayi made late goals to claim a prestigious 3-1 win. Belgium sent their Euro 2016 opponents a clear warning that Belgium are among the favourites.