Belgium took a major step towards the World Cup finals on a night when they got it right and Group A rivals Croatia took a potentially fatal stumble.
Headed goals from midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Marouane Fellaini gave the Belgians a fine home victory over Serbia, dangerous opponents who were professionally put away. There were roars at the King Baudouin stadium for both goals, but also when news came through of the strike against Croatia that earned Scotland a surprise win in Zagreb.
The slight concern in that regard may be that Belgium go to Scotland next, in September. But Belgium could last night look down on the rest of the group, armed with a three-point lead over Croatia, the only side that can catch them in the hunt for the automatic place in next summer’s finals.
Belgium made a 13th-minute breakthrough when Chelsea’s Jan Vertonghen crossed and De Bruyne headed in. De Bruyne would play a key role in the second goal, this time as the provider as his corner from the left found Fellaini who headed home. Serbia pulled one back thanks to a brilliant free kick from Aleksandar Kolarov.