World Cup Qualifying: France thrash Netherlands, Ronaldo breaks record

France have beaten the Netherlands 4-0 to move top of World Cup qualifying Group A.

Thomas Lemar scored twice with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe also hitting the back of the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe’s top goalscorer in World Cup qualifying history as he scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s 5-1 win against the Faroe Islands.

Group A

The Netherlands are in danger of missing out on qualification after their defeat. They now sit fourth, three points behind the play-off place.

Griezmann opened the scoring when he combined with Olivier Giroud but the match burst into life when Lemar, the subject of a failed deadline day bid from Arsenal, struck a 25-yarder into the top corner.

Kevin Strootman picked up a second yellow card after Griezmann took a theatrical tumble and Lemar made it three with a tap-in. Mbappe completed the scoring in stoppage time.

Bulgaria’s 3-2 win over Sweden means France have gone three points clear at the top. Four goals were shared in the first half but Ivaylo Chochev curled the ball into the bottom corner to win the game for Bulgaria.

Daniel Da Mota scored the only goal of the game as Luxembourg defeated Belarus.

Group B

Portugal came one step closer to securing a play-off place with a 5-1 win over the Faroe Islands.

Ronaldo netted his fifth international hat-trick and moved clear of Andriy Shevchenko to break the record for most goals in Europe’s World Cup qualifying. His total now stands at 29.

William Carvalho and Nelson Oliveira completed the scoring for Portugal.

Switzerland remain three points clear at the top after a 3-0 win over Andorra. Haris Seferovic scored twice in the first half before Stephan Lichtsteiner added the third.

Hungary’s 3-1 win over Latvia means they stay eight points behind Portugal with three games remaining.

Group H

Belgium have extended their lead at the top of Group H after a 9-0 win over Gibraltar.

Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Meunier scored hat-tricks and Eden Hazard netted on his comeback from an ankle injury.

Greece’s 0-0 draw with Estonia means that Belgium can qualify with a win in Athens on Sunday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina had the chance to move above Greece but they lost 3-2 to Cyprus.

Cyprus came from behind to score three goals in the final 25 minutes.

Cover Photo: FIFA World Cup 2014 by Mariya Butd used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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