Belgium record-breaker Romelu Lukaku scores four and moves up to seventh on all-time list
Romelu Lukaku scored four goals in 20 first-half minutes as Belgium thrashed 10-man Azerbaijan 5-0 in Sunday's World Cup qualifier.
The 30-year-old striker – currently on loan at Serie A side Roma from Premier League Chelsea – has now scored 83 goals in 113 games for Belgium, moving him to joint seventh on the all-time men's international goalscoring chart.
Lukaku has moved above Poland's Robert Lewandowski(81 in 145 games) andis level with UAE striker Ali Mabkhout who has played one game less than the Belgian hitman.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo (128 goals in 205 games for Portugal), Ali Daei (108 in 148, Iran), Lionel Messi (106 in 179, Argentina), Sunil Chhetri (93 in 144, India), Mokhtar Dahari (89 in 142, Malaysia) and Ferenc Puskas (84 in 85, Hungary) have scored more.
“The whole team gave a great performance today and we showed our qualities,” said the former Manchester United and Inter Milan attacker. “It feels very good when you score four goals.”
Such was Belgium's dominance, manager Domenico Tedesco was able to bring off Lukaku at the break. “I’ve been playing a lot for Roma in recent weeks and that is why the coach and I decided for me to come off at half-time,” he added.
Lukaku opened the scoring in Brussels on Sunday when he headed home a cross from Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku in the 17th minute.
Azerbaijan's night was made far more problematic soon after when midfielder Eddy Pascual picked up his second yellow card in just four minutes leaving his side a man down.
Scoring goals for fun. ⚽️ #WirSchaffenDas pic.twitter.com/VIQjzsYq3M
It was 2-0 in the 26th minute when Lukaku smashed home a knock down by Fulham full-back Timothy Castagne and then completed his hat-trick on the half-hour mark by heading home