7-second strike for Benteke
BRUSSELS Belgium, (AP):
Belgium scored the fastest goal in World Cup-qualifying history when Christian Benteke slotted home against Gibraltar after only seven seconds yesterday.
The previous record since detailed timing was kept was held by San Marino's Davide Gualtieri, who needed eight seconds to score the opener against England in a 1993 qualifier.
Perhaps most amazing was that Gibraltar had the kick-off. Passing back, Benteke robbed the ball immediately after two touches, drove forward and scored with a cross-goal drive.
"The most important thing was to score early," said Benteke, who went on to score two more goals in a 6-0 win which kept Belgium perfect atop Group H with nine points.
It was not the fastest goal in all competitions since some clubs have scored right at the kick-off with a huge high drive which caught a goalkeeper off his line.
By half time, Belgium were leading 3-0, with Axel Witsel and Benteke also scoring.
Belgium are second in the FIFA rankings, while Gibraltar are last at 205, together with six other nations.
The game was played in a near empty stadium in Faro, Portugal, almost 250 miles away from Gibraltar. Gibraltar does not have a stadium that meets international standards.
Gibraltar are playing their first World Cup qualifying campaign after gaining FIFA membership in May.