Sun 14 November 2021 | 8:46

"We should celebrate" Belguim boss Martinez delighted by qualification

Belgium secured their place in the next year's World Cup by winning their qualifier against Estonia.

Belgium defeated Estonia 3-1 in a World Cup qualifying game on Saturday.

The Red Devils

qualified for the next year's World Cup by securing first place in Group E of the competition, where Wales and the Czech Republic are battling to finish as runner-ups.

Christian Benteke opened the scoring for Belgium in the 11th minute. The Red Devils doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half through Yannick Carrasco's strike. Estonia tried to mount a late comeback when they made it 2-1 in the 70th minute, but a goal from Thorgan Hazard secured the victory for Roberto Martinez's side four minutes later.

In a post-match interview, the Belgium manager expressed his satisfaction with his side's early qualification.

"We're in a situation where we always have to win everything,"

Martinez told reporters.

"That is what the outside world expects and it creates extra pressure. I am very happy that our players are handling this well. They always go for it.

"Every player is always in a special situation at his club, but with the national team all noses are in the same direction. That's a good mindset. It's not as obvious as it seems.

"We have now played 27 qualifiers under my reign. We won 25 of those. We should be happy about that. That is why we should really celebrate this qualification. That is not so normal."

Despite Belgium's qualification, Martinez says his side will play their best against Wales, who are trying to finish second in the group.

"We have to try to win there, play the game fairly,"

Martinez said.

"The atmosphere will be very hostile as Wales want to qualify for the play-offs. I will therefore go there with the strongest possible core.

"Only Courtois may not go to Wales, he is not completely fit and has not trained much. For the rest, no yellow cards or injuries, so everyone is coming along."

Belgium will play their final qualification game against Wales on Tuesday.

source: SportMob

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