Belgium 1st European team to reach 2018 World Cup

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Paris: Romelu Lukaku's goal allowed Belgium to become the first European nation to clinch qualification for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday as much-fancied France were held to an embarrassing goalless draw by Luxembourg.

In a match that could have gone either way, Martinez's side struggled to penetrate the hosts in Piraeus until Vertonghen slammed home a long-range effort in the 70th minute to spark off a flurry of action.

Romelu Lukaku just can't stop scoring.

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Vertonghen acknowledged that a tense affair could have gone either way, but was determined to toast Belgium's success. They played many long balls, played well on the counter and developed two or three very good chances.

Kenan Kodro-Maksumic, Senad Lulic and Dzeko added further goals in the second half although the final score was harsh on Gibraltar.

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"We'll fly back right now, but we're going to have a drink!" That makes Belgium the first European team confirmed for the World Cup besides host nation Russian Federation.

That has changed with the new agreement, but if Belgium were to win the World Cup in Russian Federation, the players will still bag a whopping 600,000 each.

At the 2014 World Cup the Belgian players banked €350,000 each, notwithstanding a relatively disappointing campaign that ended with a quarter-final defeat against Argentina.

"When we tried that, immediately there were three or four Greeks on us, we did not get space".

The Dutch travel to Belarus and then host Sweden in October, with the latter clash likely to be crucial in the teams' bid to secure a place in Russian Federation next summer.

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