France deal Dutch World Cup blow
Photo Source: EPA
The Netherlands are in danger of missing their second straight major tournament, with France dealing their World Cup qualifying hopes a major blow with a 1-0 victory in Amsterdam.
As Belgium's Christian Benteke went into the record books with a the quickest-ever World Cup qualifying goal in a 6-0 rout of Gibraltar, and Andre Silva scored a first-half hat-trick for European champions Portugal in a 6-0 win at the Faroe Islands, the Dutch again came up short.
Euro 2016 finalists France grabbed all three points in the evening's Group A crunch match, the Dutch facing the prospect of missing out on another major finals after failing to qualify for Euro 2016.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, the world's most expensive player, was the match-winner with a powerful long-range strike on the half hour which keeper Maarten Stekelenburg could not keep out.
France and Sweden - who handed Bulgaria a 3-0 drubbing in Solna courtesy of goals from Ola Toivonen, Oscar Hijjemark and Victor Lindelof - head Group A with seven points and identical goal difference, with the Dutch now three points adrift.
Switzerland stayed top of Group B with a 2-1 victory at rank outsiders Andorra to give them maximum nine points. Portugal meanwhile coasted to the three points at Faroe Islands where Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho and Joao Cancelo added to Andre Silva's treble - a second 6-0 win for Portugal after Friday's trouncing of Andorra to move them to six points. Hungary remain in the chase on four points with a 2-0 victory at Latvia.
Belgium stayed top of Group H with a 6-0 thrashing of Gibraltar in a match played in Faro, Portugal.
Crystal Palace striker Benteke scored immediately after kick-off and went on to notch a hat-trick while Axel Witsel, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard were also on target.
World governing body FIFA said Benteke scored "inside seven seconds", while European body UEFA timed the goal at 8.1 seconds.
FIFA said it was "the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history" while UEFA called it "the quickest ever goal in competitive internationals."
Greece stayed level with Belgium on a perfect nine points after earning a 2-0 win over Estonia in Tallinn, while Edin Dzeko scored both goals as Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Cyprus 2-0 in Zenica to move to six points.
Belarus and Luxembourg drew 1-1 in a match between two lowly Group A teams.