Belgium brush aside Bosnia 4-0 in World Cup qualifier

BRUSSELS: Belgium swept past a defensively frail Bosnia side to secure a 4-0 victory in their World Cup qualifier on Friday and give themselves a perfect start from their first two matches.

Emir Spahic put through his own net before Eden Hazard ran through to make it 2-0 before halftime. Toby Alderweireld added the third on the hour with a clever finish from a corner before Romelu Lukaku wrapped up the win with a fine solo goal.

Belgium lead Group H with six points above Greece, who won 2-0 at home to Cyprus, on goal difference.

The opener came from a seemingly innocuous cross from Thomas Meunier which fell to Bosnia defender Spahic, who under no pressure managed to beat his own keeper Asmir Begovic, a slight deflection perhaps forcing his embarrassing miscue.

Two minutes later, following Bosnia's failure to clear, Dries Mertens split open the defence to find an advancing Hazard, who rounded Begovic to slot in from a tight angle.

Defender Alderweireld scored with a neat flick at the front post from a corner before striker Lukaku, who had missed an open goal, made amends with a fine solo effort 10 minutes from time.

Belgium showed little sign that they were missing injured captain Vincent Kompany or midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

They also lost left back Jordan Lukaku with an injury early in the first half but the defence managed to shackle Edin Dzeko, who had scored in Bosnia's last four matches against Belgium.

Belgium's victory brings the record between the sides to three wins each, and two in a row for the hosts, who beat Bosnia 3-1 in September 2015 on their way to Euro 2016.

Belgium next travel to play Gibraltar in Portugal on Monday, when Bosnia host Cyprus.