Romelu Lukaku's assist helps Belgium become the first team to reach the final, beating San Marino 9-0



Belgium won first place in the Euro2020 finals after falling to San Marino 9-0 on Thursday with Romelu Lukaku scoring his 50th and 51st international goals.

Russia were on the verge of joining the world's top nation as a second qualifier from Group I after scoring a 4-0 win over Scotland with all the goals they achieved in the second half.

The undefeated Belgium have 21 points from seven matches, with only one goal conceded, while Russia has 18 and Cyprus, 2-1 winners over Kazakhstan in Astana, are 10. The first two qualify.

San Marino have managed to keep a clean sheet for 27 minutes against the 2018 World Cup semifinals, as expected, the towers open at Brussels' King Baudouin Stadium and goals are poured for Roberto Martinez's side.

Milan's Inter striker, Lukaku, became the first Belgian to score a half-century of international goals with a right-footed shot to open the scoring.

He created Nacer Chadli three minutes later, before the same goal from Cristian Brolli put Belgium 3-0 at 35th. Lukaku took his second in 41 minutes with the help of Eden Hazard of Real Madrid.

"It's nice to be so good in the national team, but at the end of the day I want to win a trophy with Belgium," Lukaku told the Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

A deflection of Toby Alderweireld's effort in the 43rd minute and a Youri Tielemens shot in the break saw the Belgian cruise at 6-0 on the break.

The pace slowed before Christian Benteke overcame his three-year international drought, coming off the bench to win three minutes later, in the 79th, by mistaking the goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

Yari Verschaeren, 18, came off the bench to score his first goal of the penalty shoot-out to make it 8-0 in the 84th minute and Timothy Castagne rounded off the 90th minute.

"We wanted the 10th, but unfortunately we didn't," Hazard said.

"We started well, we had some chances and we could score faster, but we know you have to be patient in this type of game."

Russia dominated possession on the Luznik field but were frustrated throughout the first half by a Scottish side that failed to muster a single shot on goal.

The Scots, who can no longer qualify automatically but remain in contention through the playoffs, broke after the break.

Artem Dizuba revolutionized Russia for volleyball in the 57th and a second followed three minutes later when Magomed Ozdov threw a far cry over David Marshall.

Dzyuba advanced to second in the 70th minute, with Aleksandr Golovin firing from 84th as Russia ran into a comfortable victory.