Football: Belgium overcome stubborn Estonian resistance in 2-0 World Cup qualifier win

West Bromwich Albion player Nacer Chadli scored against a resilient Estonia on June 9, to give Belgium a four-point lead in their qualifying group.
West Bromwich Albion player Nacer Chadli scored against a resilient Estonia on June 9, to give Belgium a four-point lead in their qualifying group. PHOTO: AFP

TALLINN (REUTERS) - Goals from Dries Mertens and Nacer Chadli allowed Belgium to outclass a resilient 10-man Estonia 2-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Friday and maintain top spot in Group H.

Mertens had the visitors ahead just past the half-hour mark, but there was to be no repeat of the 8-1 hammering that Belgium handed Estonia in Brussels last November.

Mertens took advantage of a goalkeeping blunder to put Belgium ahead, and Estonia suffered a further setback on the stroke of half-time when Artjom Dmitrijev was sent off for a studs-high challenge on Marouane Fellaini.

Estonia's stubborn defence prevented Belgium from finding the net until five minutes from the end when Chadli added a second.

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Belgium have a four-point lead over second-placed Greece in their qualifying group, and are well placed to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in Russia.