Yorick Jansens

Belgium hits 8 past Belarus

LEUVEN, Belgium (AP) — Belgium soared to an 8-0 win over Belarus to open up a three-point lead in its World Cup qualifying group on Tuesday.

Six different players scored in Belgium's dominant victory, which padded the top-ranked nation's goal difference to a handy +10 after three games in Group E. Hans Vanaken and Leandro Trossard finished with two goals apiece, with Michy Batshuayi, Jeremy Doku, Dennis Praet and Christian Benteke also scoring.

That illustrated the depth of talent available to coach Roberto Martinez outside of Belgium's usual standout attacking players. Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne were unused substitutes after they combined to salvage a draw against the Czech Republic on Saturday, while Eden Hazard is injured.

It matched the biggest win of the European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup so far — Denmark beat Moldova 8-0 on Sunday — and was one goal short of Belgium's record margin of victory. The Belgians have won by nine goals on four occasions, most recently in a 9-0 trouncing of San Marino in 2019.

Yorick Jansens

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