Stealing the ball in the opposition’s half when an errant pass went astray, the 25-year-old capitalized on a disordered defense before calmly beating Deren Ibrahim in the Gibraltar goal.
The Belgian forward — born in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital of Kinshasa — went on to claim a hat-trick in the 6-0 win.
That was a particularly embarrassing moment for English football given San Marino have never won a competitive game, though England did recover to win 7-1.
But is Benteke’s strike the fastest ever?
The quickest goal in an official international tournament was scored by Turkey’s Hakan Sukur after 10.89 seconds against World Cup host South Korea in the third place playoff fourteen years ago.
Neither beat Benteke, but in club football, Paolo Poggi of Piacenza does at least match the Belgian’s time, taking 8.1s to score against Fiorentina in the 2001/02 Serie A season.
Former Bayern Munich forward Roy Makaay holds the honor of scoring the fastest Champions League goal, slotting it past Iker Casillas after just 10.12 seconds in a home round of 16 clash back in 2007.
Meanwhile, the fastest ever Europa League goal was scored this year by Jan Sýkora of Czech side Liberec, taking 10.69 seconds to score against Azerbaijani host Qarabağ.
Be it Benteke, Poggi, Podolski, Sykora or Makaay, the opposition has kicked off first — lending credence to the theory a team is never more vulnerable than having just lost the ball.
As you get your tongue round that phrase spare a thought for Saudi Arabian footballer Nawaf Al Abed.
The Al-Hilal player scored what many believe to be the fastest goal in history, hitting the back of the net in just two seconds with a 60-yard drive — only to have the game ruled invalid due to the fielding of ineligible players.