Belgium joint top after victory in Serbia

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Cool finishing by striker Christian Benteke, midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and late substitute Kevin Mirallas gave Belgium a valuable 3-0 win in Serbia in last night’s Group A clash.

The result leaves the Belgians – who host Scotland on Tuesday – joint top of the group with seven points from three games along with Croatia, who won 2-1 in Macedonia.

Home goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic was powerless in the 34th minute when Benteke headed Nacer Chadli’s cross from the right into the roof of the net. Belgium doubled their lead midway through the second half as De Bruyne beat Brkic with a low shot.

Everton striker Mirallas came on for de Bruyne in the dying minutes but made an immediate impact, side-footing home a pinpoint Dries Mertens cross from the left in stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Vedran Corluka and Ivan Rakitic scored as Croatia came from behind to beat Macedonia 2-1.

A header from Macedonia midfielder Agim Ibraimi put the hosts ahead in the 16th minute. However, Croatia, who had already missed two chances, equalised when Corluka met a cross from Rakitic in the 33rd minute.

Rakitic grabbed the winner with a free kick in the 60th minute.

Macedonia, whose only point so far came at Hampden, sit bottom of the group.