Brussels: Belgium secured themselves a spot in next year’s World Cup finals and kept up their unbeaten qualifying run as they beat Estonia 3-1 in Brussels on Saturday.
The semifinalists in Russia in 2018 climbed to an unassailable 19 points in Group E, after Christian Benteke scored early and Yannick Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard added second-half goals.
The Belgians join Brazil, Denmark, France and Germany as the first five countries to qualify for the finals starting next November in Qatar.
But it was in fact a wasteful display from Belgium, whose supporters were expecting more of a goalfest at the King Baudouin Stadium to celebrate qualifying for a third successive World Cup.
Holders France ran riot to reach the finals with a match to spare after four goals from Kylian Mbappe helped them to an 8-0 home demolition of Kazakhstan in their Group D qualifier
The result left France top of the group on 15 points from seven games, four ahead of second-placed Finland who they visit in their final match on Tuesday.
Karim Benzema added two goals while Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann netted one each to cap an impressive performance at the Parc des Princes and seal France's berth in Qatar.
Coach Didier Deschamps fielded a 3-4-3 formation with Kingsley Coman deployed as a right wing-back and the attack-minded strategy produced an avalanche of goals as France's natural talent shone.