Jerusalem: Marouane Fellaini's early goal proved sufficient to give 10-man Belgium a 1-0 win over hosts Israel in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday and see them leapfrog both their opponents and Wales to top Group B.
Israel's midfielder Sheran Yeini (R) vies with Belgium's midfielder Marouane Fellaini (L) during their Euro 2016 qualifying football match match between Israel and Belgium at the Teddy Kollek Memorial Stadium in Jerusalem. Pic/AFP
Fellaini's ninth minute goal -- his 12th for the 'Red Devils' which sees him become the highest scorer for the national side of players still playing -- was just enough as the visitors had to play out the last 30 minutes after captain Vincent Kompany was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Defeat drops Israel to third spot, two points adrift of both Belgium and Wales. Belgium -- quarter-finalists at last year's World Cup where they lost to Argentina -- got the early goal they craved when Fellaini deflected Kompany's shot into the net in the ninth minute taking his tally to three in two matches after scoring a brace in the 5-0 hammering of Cyprus on Saturday.
Marc Wilmot's men eased off in the second-half and were indebted to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for some superb saves, including several from the lively Eran Zahavi. This victory will see Belgium rise to an unprecedented third place when the next FIFA rankings are released.