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De Bruyne fires Belgium to Euro 2016



Kevin De Bruyne continued his impressive club form to help book Belgium’s place at Euro 2016.

The City playmaker netted a sublime 42nd minute free-kick which doubled the 1-0 first half advantage for Marc Wilmots’ side against Andorra after Radja Naingollan had given them the lead 19 minutes in.

Ildefons Lima replied for the hosts but Eden Hazard and Laurent Depoitre increased the damage after the break, giving Belgium a comfortable 4-1 win over the minnows.

Without the injured Vincent Kompany and with Jason Denayer named on the bench, Kevin was the sole City representative in the Belgian XI but he made his presence felt throughout this crucial qualifier.

Facing off against an Andorra side which had lost its last 15 games, it seemed a formality that this would be the night Belgium reached the European Championship finals for the first time in 16 years.

The opening 15 minutes provided no argument to the contrary as the visitors started off on the front foot with Dries Meertens and Eden Hazard both going close.

However, it was Roma midfield Radja Naingollan who opened the scoring after 19 minutes with a long range strike.

De Bruyne nearly made it two on 35 minutes with an effort that found the sidenetting but he would get his goal just six minutes later.

With 41 minutes on the clock, Hazard was fouled by Oscar Sonejee 25 yards from goal and De Bruyne accepted responsibilities for the set piece.

When he stepped up, he delivered a stunning free-kick which he brought up and down over the wall and into the goal via the inside of the near post.

It was his 10th goal for his country on his 35th appearance and his second strike in three international appearances.

Andorra defender Lima halved the deficit six minutes into the second half but a Hazard penalty and a debut goal from Depoitre secured Belgium's place in the European Championship finals.

Kevin came through the 90 minutes unscathed and will be in contention to face Israel in the final qualifier in Brussels on Tuesday night.

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