Belgium became the first team to seal qualification for next summer’s Euro 2020, and they did it in some style, putting nine (9!) past hapless little San Marino in yet another shining example of worthless international football. Belgium, a perfect seven wins from seven, with 28 goals scored and just one conceded, thus clinch a top two finish in Group I and a spot at the final tournament. San Marino meanwhile drop to a perfect seven losses from seven, with 37 goals conceded and none scored.
Other than the injured Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium rolled out all the big guns, with ex-Chelsea trio Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Thibaut Courtois all starting. Unfortunately for the one remaining Belgian international at Chelsea, Michy Batshuayi, Roberto Martinez decided to spell Lukaku with Christian Benteke instead for the final 15 minutes. Lukaku grabbed a brace, while Benteke joined five others in scoring a goal. Sorry, Michy!
Another big win, if not in scoreline but in potential impact, was seen in Split, where Croatia continued their recent good form with a 3-0 win over Hungary, to open up a three-point lead at the top of Group E over Slovakia, who only managed a 1-1 draw at home against Wales.
Mateo Kovačić collected his 53rd cap as a second-half substitute for Luka Modrić for the 2018 World Cup runners-up, while Ethan Ampadu played the first hour and change for Wales. The Chelsea youngster, on loan at RB Leipzig currently, may be still looking for his first minutes at club level since February, but he continues to play a significant role for his national team. Chelsea loanee Mario Pašalić was named to the bench for Croatia as well, but did not get to play.
TURNS OUT TAKING AMPADU OFF BECAUSE HIS TEAM MATE BADLY LAID UP THE OPPOSITION FOR THEIR EQUALISER AND BRINGING ON SOMEONE MUCH SHITTER HAS BACKFIRED SINCE THEY'D HAD THREE CLEAN SHOTS FROM OUTSIDE THE BOX WITHIN 5 MINUTES— NEO (@MULLET_FAN_NEO) October 10, 2019
Ampadu was generally quite good, as expected, and made at least one really nice highlight-worthy play, putting in a key block, which you can see at the 2-minute mark of the video below.
Elsewhere, Chelsea youngsters Billy Gilmour, Tariq Lamptey, Karlo Ziger, Clinton Mola, and Levi Colwill and Nathan Young-Coombes were in action for Scotland U21, England U20, Croatia U19, England U19, and England U17, respectively.