Belgium, Germany and Switzerland secured qualification to the 2014 Fifa World Cup yesterday despite all three teams still having outstanding matches to play in the European qualifying series.
Belgium qualified by beating Croatia by two goals to one. Both goals coming from Lukaku while Croatia’s only goal came from Niko Cranjcar.
Croatia, however, still have a chance to qualify if they win in the playoffs.
Germany cemented their place at next year’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland .
Sami Khedira opened scoring in the twelfth minute and Andre Schurle made it two in the 58th minute. As if two goals were not enough to secure a qualification, Arsenal newest signing, Mesut Ozil made it three a minute after regulation time.
Goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Michael Lang gave Switzerland a 2-1 win over Albania and ensured their place at next year’s World Cup.
The Swiss, who qualify for their third successive World Cup, have 21 points – five ahead of Iceland , who beat Cyprus 2-0.
The three teams join their European neighbours Italy, who had already qualified for Brazil 2014 ahead of their 2-2 draw with Denmark yesterday.