2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Dries Mertens (64')
  • Kevin De Bruyne (78')
  • Eden Hazard (84')
  • Tomer Hemed (88')

Belgium defeat Israel to finish top of Group B in Euro qualifying

Belgium claimed a 3-1 triumph in Brussels over Israel in their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday to seal top spot in Group B.

The hosts struggled but finally took the lead in the 64th minute with a goal from Dries Mertens before Kevin De Bruyne doubled the advantage 14 minutes later.

Eden Hazard put the result beyond doubt by scoring the Red Devils' third in the 84th minute.

Tomer Hemed got a consolation goal for Israel two minutes from time.

The win means Belgium will take over as the No. 1 nation in the FIFA World Ranking next month.

Belgium, who clinched a spot in next year's European Championship in France with a 4-1 win at Andorra over the weekend, finished two points ahead of second-placed Wales.

Israel, chasing a play-off place, went into the contest needing to win and for Bosnia and Herzegovina to drop points in Cyprus in order to finish third in the standings.

Bosnia and Herzegovina won 3-2, leaving Israel to settle for a fourth-placed finish.

Marc Wilmots' side, unbeaten in 13 competitive home games heading into Tuesday's clash, dominated possession but Israel almost broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.

Eran Zahavi's 25-yard attempt beat Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet but rattled the right post.

Belgium went in front after the hour when De Bruyne set up Mertens in the box and his right-footed shot from 12 yards towards the far post beat Israel goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.

De Bruyne made it 2-0 with a powerful free-kick which beat Marciano.

Marciano conceded again when Mertens set up Hazard in the box and the Chelsea star's right-footed shot found the net.

Israel got their goal when Hemed headed Zahavi's cross past Mignolet.