France hit Kazakhstan eight times


Real Madrid fans would have been watching on with their mouths watering at the prospect of what may come in the capital as Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema led France to an 8-0 win over Kazakhstan on Saturday.

The current Paris Saint-Germain forward netted a hat-trick in the first half, before Benzema bagged two of his own after the break to add more gloss to the result.

It was never likely to be a tight affair as the two met in Group D, but Mbappe sent France into a lead with just six minutes played before doubling his tally and the World champions’ advantage six minutes later.

Mbappe completed his treble shortly after the half-hour mark, giving Les Bleus a comfortable lead at halftime.

After the sides had reemerged, the baton was handed to Benzema to take centre stage and the Real Madrid forward obliged, scoring twice before an hour had been played.

Adrien Rabiot scored a sixth late on for France before Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty and Mbappe netted again with a couple of minutes to go.

Les Bleus sit top of Group D with 15 points and four clear of Finland in second with a game to play.

Belgium book a place in Qatar

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard started as Belgium hosted Estonia on Saturday night, only to find himself replaced by his brother Thorgan who then went on to score as the Red Devils claimed a 3-1 win to confirm their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Atletico Madrid’s Yannick Carrasco was also on target for Roberto Martinez’s side after Christian Benteke had given them an early lead, with Carrasco making it two shortly after the break.

Erik Sorga livened things up briefly as he pulled a goal back for the visitors. But Thorgan Hazard, having come on to replace his older brother Eden, killed things off with about a quarter of an hour to play, getting his name on the scoresheet with Belgium’s third.

The win leaves Belgium on 19 points from their seven games so far, five clear of Wales’ 14 points despite their win over Belarus on the night, meaning they have qualified for the World Cup.

Montenegro halt Holland

Barcelona’s Memphis Depay scored each of the Netherlands’ two goals as they collapsed to draw 2-2 with Montenegro, leaving their participation at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in doubt.

Having scored twice in the 4-0 win over Saturday’s hosts in their reverse fixture back in September, Memphis didn’t need all that long to get going on the night again.

The Blaugrana forward converted a first-half penalty to give the Dutch the lead before doubling his tally and his side’s lead in the second half.

But Ilija Vukotic made things interesting as the game neared its end, pulling a goal back for the hosts with less than 10 minutes of the 90 to play.

Louis van Gaal’s side, clearly unable to keep their cool, then saw their lead slip as Nikola Vujnovic levelled with just four minutes to go.

They now face Norway on Tuesday needing a win to go to the World Cup. Norway, with a win, can also qualify from their current position of third. Turkey, meanwhile, sit second and can still qualify themselves.


Courtesy: MARCA

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