West Ham ace Tomas Soucek hits first Czech Republic HAT-TRICK as Wales and Republic of Ireland stumble in World Cup qualifying openers
Tomas Soucek has been sensational for West Ham this season and he’s now doing the business for Czech Republic during the international break.
The Hammers midfielder completed a brilliant hat-trick for his nation as they got their World Cup qualifying campaign to a winning start with a thumping 6-2 victory over Estonia.
His first was a towering header at a corner, the second was a sweetly-struck long-range effort and the third a simple tap-in.
Elsewhere, Wales suffered an opening defeat in their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign as Kevin De Bruyne’s brilliance proved the difference in a 3-1 win for Belgium in Leuven.
Harry Wilson stunned Belgium with a superbly-crafted 10th-minute goal, but the star-studded hosts were soon ahead as De Bruyne fired home from distance and then played a major part as Thorgan Hazard’s header gave them the lead.
Meanwhile, substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic served up a timely reminder of his potency with a high-quality double as Serbia condemned the Republic of Ireland to defeat in their opening World Cup qualifier.
The striker, currently out of favour at Premier League Fulham, outrageously chipped rookie keeper Mark Travers and then headed home a second in a decisive second-half cameo at the Rajko Mitic Stadium to establish himself as his country’s joint-top scorer in a 3-2 victory.
World Cup holders France were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine in Paris.
Antoine Griezmann’s opener was cancelled out by a Presnel Kimpembe own goal in the 57th minute, and Les Blues were unable to find a winner.
While Burak Yilmaz scored a hat-trick as the Netherlands slumped to a surprise 4-2 defeat to Turkey.