Another day, another goal for Eden Hazard, but unfortunately another possible injury concern as well. Then again, when you're in such great form as Eden is nowadays, it's pretty easy to be concerned by even the smallest of knocks and niggles.
On Wednesday, in an entirely meaningless friendly, Hazard got a knock in the 93rd minute and was visibly limping afterwards. Apparently no worse for the wear, he started again on Sunday, but in a match that actually had meaning (at least before Belgium absolutely blew Estonia away), Hazard asked to be substituted off with over a quarter of an hour to go. Considering that he, as captain, played the whole friendly and didn't manage to see out the qualifier isn't exactly the most unconcerning sequence of events.
Eden Hazard (knee?) injured. Asked for his substitution. Nothing too serious? #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 13, 2016
Obviously we'll be keeping a close eye on this, hopefully non-crisis of a situation.
Roberto Martínez says that Eden Hazard isn't injured: "Just a knock on the calf." #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 13, 2016
Hazard did score a pretty decent goal in the first half to give him 8 goals in 9 games for club and country. It was Belgium's third in what already looked like the 8-1 mauling it would become in the end.
Estonia's goal (a result of a poor turnover by Carrasco deep inside his own half) did unfortunately end Thibaut Courtois's personal shutout streak at 709 minutes. His streak of consecutive clean sheets for Chelsea obviously remains intact, for now.
Despite the goalfest, Michy Batshuayi did not make an appearance.
Belgium now have 21 goals in their four qualifying games and they sit on top of qualifying Group H in the UEFA region, two points above Greece, who got a spectacular late equalizer against Asmir Begović and Bosnia and Herzegovina as both teams finished with 10 men. Edin Dzeko got himself a second yellow after literally pulling down his opponent's shorts, while in the bit of afters, Papadopoulos (#5) got a straight red for hitting another Bosnia player in the back of the head (watch lower left corner of video).
Earlier in the day, Baba Rahman and Christian Atsu were on the losing end as Egypt dispatched Ghana 2-0. Former Chelsea speedster Mohamed Salah continued his fine year with another goal, despite somehow being overlooked for the BBC's African Player of the Year in favor of ... Yaya Touré? (LOL.)