Belgium defeats Kazakhstan 4-1 in Euro qualifying
Belgium kept alive its hopes of reaching the qualifying playoffs for the 2012 European Championship with a comfortable 4-1 win over Kazakhstan on Friday.
The result, coupled with Turkey's 3-1 loss to Group A winner Germany, put Belgium in second place ahead of its final game against Germany. Turkey, which is a point behind, is expected to beat Azerbaijan in Tuesday's games.
Belgium broke though in the 40th minute with a penalty by Timmy Simons, who beat the Kazakh keeper, Vladimir Loginovskiy, with a strike to the bottom right corner.
Three minutes later, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard staged a two-man attack, passing the ball between them until Hazard, taking Mertens' pass, shot home from close range, putting Belgium up 2-0 at halftime.
Play continued in the same vein after the break, with the Belgian captain, Vincent Kompany, scoring in the 49th from a corner from Igor de Camargo.
As if things weren't bad enough for the Kazakhs, Nurtus Kurgulin was sent off in the 59th minute after fouling Mertens.
Substitute Marvin Ogunjimi claimed Belgium's fourth goal in the 84th, although Kazakhstan's Vitali Yevstigneev also seemed to get a touch, before the visitors grabbed a consolation two minutes later when Kairat Nurdauletov scored a penalty.