Belgium beats Scotland 2-0 to lead Group A


BRUSSELS (AP) -Premier League players Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany led Belgium to a 2-0 victory over Scotland on Wednesday and a share of the lead in World Cup Group A.

Aston Villa's Benteke scored with a header for the second game in a row to break open a tight match in the 70th minute and Manchester City defender Kompany added an insurance goal with a brilliant individual effort two minutes later.

The result left the Red Devils with 10 points from four games and the Group A lead together with Croatia. The closest challengers, Macedonia and Serbia are already six points back.

`'It's incredible. We have that feeling we can say: `Whatever team, bring `em on!"' captain Vincent Kompany said. `'We were a very dominant team. It was only a question of time before we broke through."

The Red Devils dominated from the outset and it took sterling saves from Allan McGregor to Deny PSV's Dries Mertens and Nacer Chadli in the first half. Scotland had to rely on set pieces but Belgian goalkeeper Thibault Courtois was up to the task on two free kicks.

Benteke had already scraped the bar with a header early in the second half, before he met a cross from Werder Bremen's Kevin De Bruyne with a powerful header. Benteke had also scored the opener in Friday's 3-0 win against Serbia in Belgrade.

Kompany then created space for himself with deft moves in the penalty area before unleashing a powerful right-foot drive for the second goal.

`'But it was just as important to keep a clean sheet at the back," said Kompany. `'Four games and only one goal conceded."

Before a sellout crowd of 50,000 at the King Baudouin stadium, Belgium had no trouble playing out the game against the hapless Scots.

After only two draws in its first three games, Scotland was already facing a daunting task to reach the World Cup finals and the loss will only increase the pressure on coach Craig Levein.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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