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Benteke Breaks World Cup Record

11 October 2016

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke scored the fastest ever World Cup qualification goal after just 8.1 seconds on his way to a hat-trick for Belgium against Gibraltar.

The striker pounced straight from the game's opening kick-off when he seized upon a loose pass and proceeded to drive his way to the edge of the area, before firing past a shell-shocked Gibraltar goalkeeper after taking just two touches.

Benteke would net two more smart finishes either side of the break to walk away with the matchball as Roberto Martinez's cruised to an expected win in Faro in Portugal, that sees the Red Devils continue their 100% start to qualifying and top Group H, having scored 13 goals without reply from their opening three fixtures.

But all the talk post-match was on the records the Eagles striker had broken. As well as being the quickest goal in World Cup qualifying history, eclipsing San Marino's Davide Gualtieri's infamous goal against England in 1993 that took 8.3 seconds in 1993, it was also the quickest in the history of the Belgium national team.

However it isn't the fastest international goal ever, which belongs to Lukas Podolski who netted after six seconds of a friendly against Eucuadr after six seconds in 2013, which also is the same time it took for Keith Smith to score Palace's quickest-ever goal against Derby County in 1964.

Benteke was withdrawn from the fray after 80 minutes as he celebrated his first international goals since March 2015, with Alex Witsel, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard also contributing to the rout.

Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye and Steve Mandanda once again remained on the bench as France claimed a 1-0 win against Holland in Amsterdam.

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