Chelsea’s Eden Hazard scored twice to spare the blushes of former club-mate Thibaut Courtois as Belgium began their road to Euro 2020 with victory over Group I rivals Russia.

Leicester’s Youri Tielemans’ low shot gave Belgium a 14th-minute lead.

Two minutes later keeper Courtois gave the ball away under pressure from Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev slotted in.

But just before the break it was 2-1 when Hazard converted a penalty before he slotted in a late third.

The World Cup semi-finalists are in Cyprus for their next qualifier on Sunday. Russia travel to neighbours Kazakhstan, who embarrassed Scotland 3-0 earlier.

Elsewhere in Group I, Cyprus thrashed fellow minnows San Marino 5-0.

Line-ups

Belgium

  • 1Courtois
  • 2Alderweireld
  • 20Boyata
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 21Castagne
  • 8Tielemans
  • 6Dendoncker
  • 16T HazardSubstituted forChadliat 84′minutes
  • 14MertensBooked at 89mins
  • 10E Hazard
  • 23Batshuayi

Substitutes

  • 3Vermaelen
  • 4Denayer
  • 7Vanaken
  • 9Benteke
  • 11Carrasco
  • 12Mignolet
  • 13Casteels
  • 15Mechele
  • 17Origi
  • 18Januzaj
  • 19Praet
  • 22Chadli

Russia

  • 1Alvim Marinato
  • 2Figueira Fernandes
  • 3Nababkin
  • 13Kudryashov
  • 14Dzhikiya
  • 18Zhirkov
  • 19Akhmetov
  • 17GolovinBooked at 90mins
  • 7KuzyaevSubstituted forAn Miranchukat 26′minutes
  • 6CheryshevSubstituted forChalovat 65′minutes
  • 22DzyubaSubstituted forSmolovat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Belyaev
  • 5Semenov
  • 8Gazinskiy
  • 9Smolov
  • 10Chalov
  • 11An Miranchuk
  • 12Lunev
  • 15Al Miranchuk
  • 16Shunin
  • 20Ignatjev
  • 21Ozdoev
  • 23Schennikov
Referee:
Ovidiu Hategan

Match Stats

Home TeamBelgiumAway TeamRussia
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home15
Away4
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Belgium 3, Russia 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Belgium 3, Russia 1.

Foul by Leander Dendoncker (Belgium).

Fedor Smolov (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Aleksandr Golovin (Russia) for a bad foul.

Booking

Dries Mertens (Belgium) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Dries Mertens (Belgium).

Aleksandr Golovin (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Belgium 3, Russia 1. Eden Hazard (Belgium) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Michy Batshuayi.

Foul by Nacer Chadli (Belgium).

Mario Fernandes (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leander Dendoncker (Belgium).

Fedor Chalov (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Belgium. Nacer Chadli replaces Thorgan Hazard.

Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fedor Chalov (Russia).

Youri Tielemans (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fedor Smolov (Russia).

Foul by Thorgan Hazard (Belgium).

Kirill Nababkin (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Michy Batshuayi (Belgium) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Thorgan Hazard.

Substitution

Substitution, Russia. Fedor Smolov replaces Artem Dzyuba.

Offside, Belgium. Dries Mertens tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.

Corner, Russia. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Belgium) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Michy Batshuayi.

Leander Dendoncker (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anton Miranchuk (Russia).

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Mario Fernandes.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Dries Mertens (Belgium) because of an injury.

Foul by Leander Dendoncker (Belgium).

Aleksandr Golovin (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Russia. Fedor Chalov replaces Denis Cheryshev.

Attempt missed. Youri Tielemans (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ilzat Akhmetov (Russia).

Attempt missed. Aleksandr Golovin (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Hand ball by Toby Alderweireld (Belgium).

Dedryck Boyata (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Georgi Dzhikiya (Russia).

goal

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