Belgium and Bosnia & Herzegovina opened their World Cup qualification campaigns with victories this evening, while France had to settle for a point and Portugal were beaten.
Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard started for Belgium, now under the guidance of Roberto Martinez, as they recorded a comfortable 3-0 win in Cyprus.
Romelu Lukaku scored either side of half time to put the visitors 2-0 up before Hazard teed up Yannick Carrasco for a simple finish late on.
Hazard looked a threat every time he got on the ball and the winger almost scored in the first half after beating his man with a lovely piece of skill, his curling left-footed effort well saved by the ‘keeper.
Michy Batshuayi also featured, the Chelsea striker coming off the bench to replace Lukaku with 17 minutes remaining. The substitute looked lively following his introduction and went close twice in quick succession with virtually his first involvement.
Batshuayi was then handed a golden opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet in added time only to see his penalty saved.
In the same group, Asmir Begovic completed the full game and kept a clean sheet as Bosnia & Herzegovina cruised to a 5-0 home win over Estonia.
Edin Dzeko’s penalty midway through the first half made it 2-0 to the hosts and three goals in the last 20 minutes compounded Estonia’s misery.
N’Golo Kante started for France as they endured a frustrating night in Belarus, heading home with a point following a goalless draw.
In a game of few chances, France had the better of them, with Olivier Giroud going closest to breaking the deadlock when he crashed a header against the bar on the hour.
Kante, who played alongside Paul Pogba in a deep midfield role, completed the full 90 minutes.
Eduardo, meanwhile, was an unused substitute as European champions Portugal suffered a shock 2-0 defeat away to Switzerland. Both goals were scored in a six-minute period during the first half.