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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Koning Boudewijn Stadion (ATT 45,000) 26th March 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: O Benquerenca

Belgium Belgium vs Macedonia Macedonia

Belgium 1

E Hazard (62)

ft

Macedonia 0

Hazard fires Belgium to win

Macedonia victims of back-to-back defeats

Last Updated: 26/03/13 10:06pm

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Eden Hazard: On target to fire Belgium past Macedonia

Eden Hazard: On target to fire Belgium past Macedonia

Belgium maintained their narrow advantage over Croatia at the top of World Cup qualifying Group A after completing back-to-back wins over Macedonia.

Eden Hazard struck the only goal just after the hour as Belgium followed up their 2-0 away win over Macedonia on Friday with another triumph.

That lifted them onto 16 points at the top of Group A but they only remain ahead of Croatia on goal difference after their rivals fought back from a goal down to beat Wales 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Marc Wilmots' side dominated the opening period in Brussels but were frustrated in their bid to find the breakthrough.

Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium's goalscorers in Skopje, both went close in the opening 20 minutes, the former being denied by Tome Pacovski before De Bruyne fired inches wide of the far post.

Hazard and Dries Mertens then tried their luck without success before Thomas Vermaelen got the ball into the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

Belgium's final chance of a one-sided first half fell to De Bruyne but the winger's shot from the edge of the box went wide.

Macedonia, whose only real threat on goal before the break saw Goran Pandev fail to seriously trouble Thibaut Courtois, found themselves on the backfoot again immediately after half-time with Vermaelen heading wide from a Hazard corner.

The hosts survived a brief scare when Nikolce Noveski headed a decent opening over from a free-kick before resuming their offensive on the Macedonia goal with fit-again Vincent Kompany seeing his 55th-minute header from another Hazard corner parried away by Pacovski.

Hazard, inevitably, was proving a real menace to Macedonia and he almost broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a shot from the edge of the box that crashed against the woodwork.

The Chelsea playmaker did not have to wait much longer to get his name on the scoresheet, though, as three minutes later he fired Belgium ahead with a neat left-footed finish.

That proved to be the match-winner as although Macedonia tried to mount a fightback in the closing stages, with Pandev, Nikola Gligorov and Aleksandar Trajkovski seeing efforts go wide, they could find no way through.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 26th Mar - Group B
    Tue 26th Mar - Group F
    • Azerbaijan
      0 - 2
      Portugal
      bet
      TV
    • N Ireland
      0 - 2
      Israel
      bet
      TV
    Tue 26th Mar - Group D
    Tue 26th Mar - Group H
    Tue 26th Mar - Group A
    Tue 26th Mar - Group C
    Tue 26th Mar - Group I

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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