Kevin De Bruyne’s first-half technical prowess was enough for Belgium to beat Wales 2-1 in the Nations League and leave Rob Page’s side needing a win over Poland on Sunday to avoid relegation from Group A4.
Wales failed to recover after De Bruyne put Belgium ahead (10) with a delicate left-footed finish at the edge of the box and no response for the Man City player as he continued to wreak havoc before now. break, old Chelsea setting. striker Michy Batshuayi (37 years old) with a low cross made it 2-0.
Kieffer Moore’s early second-half goal (50) gave Wales hope of reviving the comeback but even the introduction of captain Gareth Bale from the bench failed to bring the equalizer back. an exhausted Welsh side produced a spirited performance in their penultimate match. before the World Cup.
Wales are on the verge of relegation from the top of the competition ahead of Sunday’s final Group A4 game against Poland in Cardiff on Sunday. Belgium, meanwhile, are still three points behind leaders Netherlands, whom they must beat by two on Sunday to reach the Nations League final.
Belgium: Courtois (7), Debast (6), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (6), Meunier (6), Tielemans (7), Witsel (6), Carrasco (6), De Bruyne (8), Batshuayi (7) , Danger (7).
Register: Openda (6), Mertens (6), De Ketelaere (n/a), Trossard (6), Vanaken (n/a).
Wales:Hennessey (7), Roberts (7), Rodon (7), Mepham (7), Williams (6), Smith (6), Ampadu (6), Norrington-Davies (6), James (5), Moore (7 ) ), Johnson (7).
Register: Bale (6), Morrell (6), Roberts (n/a).
Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne.
How Wales fell in Brussels
Belgium opened the scoring slowly in the 10th minute until a moment of quality from De Bruyne broke the deadlock. His left-footed first shot from the edge of the box – after being blocked by Batshuayi’s perfectly weighted pass – was too precise for Wayne Hennessey to dodge despite being fingered.
Wales collapsed after conceding their first while Belgium never looked back and De Bruyne almost doubled his score as he headed the post with another long-range effort just half an hour away as the team Roberto Martinez’s ball plays with the away team in Brussels.
Group A4: Remaining furniture
- Belgium vs Wales – Brussels, Thursday 22 September
- Poland vs Netherlands – Warsaw, Thursday 22 September
- Netherlands vs Belgium – Amsterdam, Sunday September 25
- Wales vs Poland – Cardiff, Sunday September 25
When Belgium finally made it 2-0, De Bruyne was involved once again as he returned the favor by setting up Batshuayi a perfect pass that the former Chelsea striker – filled in for injured Romelu Lukaku. injured – shot from close range just before the break.
Wales showed the tenacity to bounce back in the second half when Moore met a cross from the back of Nottingham Forest striker Brennan Johnson with a towering header that completely overpowered Belgium’s 18-year-old centre-back Zeno Debast. in the international debut.
- Wales is without Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Harry Wilson.
- Gareth Bale didn’t take risks from the start.
- Romelu Lukaku is absent due to injury in the match against Belgium.
Wales captain Bale made an impact from the bench as Page’s team continued to push for the equalizer. They suffered a howl when the referee blew the penalty after Joe Morrell’s fair challenge on De Bruyne, but were saved thanks to VAR intervention.
There was a late chance for the Forest striker when Connor Roberts headed the ball past him in the box, but the 21-year-old couldn’t get the shot on goal. Belgium head coach Martinez was sent off in the late game because he kept the ball too long to waste time.
Trang: Poland play final match against Wales
Wales head coach, Rob Page:
“It was a big lesson for us. Today we don’t have five players who can make us stronger.
“We couldn’t press high. Every time we hit high, they played past us. We changed that in the first half and dropped a little deeper and changed shape.
“There have been lessons learned here for the World Cup. I told them in the dressing room, we asked for this. By qualifying for the World Cup, we asked to play. with countries like Belgium, like the Netherlands, and we’ve been in games until the end.It says a lot about that group of players.
“Tactically, of course we’ll have to make tweaks and changes. By the way, they’re the number two seed in the world. We played away, 2-1 at death and us. ” still creating opportunities.
“There are too many positives. I won’t be negative. It’s a game now. If we come from June to now, where we have qualified for the World Cup and stay in the tournament. [League A] That’s a huge achievement for those players. “
“We just need to recover the boys [for Poland on Sunday]. There will be some changes to be made and we will go and put a team out to win the game.
“It’s a final. Forget the World Cup, this is the game we want to win on Sunday.”
Moore: Focus entirely on Poland for Wales
Wales striker Kieffer Moore told BBC Radio Wales:
“It’s always a tough game. They played really well tonight. We’re leaving without too much disappointment – we’ll take the positives and come back on Sunday.
“A win that puts us in the group should focus entirely on Poland. I think we are in a good position, this is the last game at home before going to the World Cup so if we are It’s great to be able to leave in high form.”
Hazard: I’m happiest when I’m playing
Belgium captain Eden Hazard told RTL:
“I’m happy to start another match. You’ve seen that, I think. I’m happy to play and it’s great to play for the supporters here again (in Brussels). we are very good.
“I know what I can do. Now I want to get back in shape for the World Cup. We’ll see what the coach (Roberto Martinez) decides, but I’m happiest when I’m playing.
“When I play, I give my all. It’s a delicate situation at Real Madrid. I feel like I want to play more, but I can’t do more.
“I always say the old Eden Hazard will come back when he plays. I just need to get back to the rhythm.”
Earnshaw: De Bruyne runs the show, but is active for Wales
Fomer Wales striker Robert Earnshaw told Sky Sports News:
“It was a fantastic game of football to watch. Belgium played unplayable in the first half, they played so well. Hazard put in a great performance, it’s nice to see him back, and De Bruyne ran the show.”
“Gareth Bale came on for Wales in the second half and made a little difference.
“If I were Rob Page, in the first half I’d be thinking ‘Guys, that’s not good enough, nowhere else’. Just be determined, take the space, make it difficult for the other team. De. Bruyne was excellent, but made it difficult for him.They didn’t allow him all the time and all the space.
“But the second half was too good. They changed their tactics a bit, picked positions and cleaned up, looking for counter-attacks, especially exiting down the right with Johnson, who was very good.
“So there were two things – good response back after half-time, but also a lot of individual lessons. Maybe one or two. [players] he will be disappointed with but overall the second half was much better.
“I think the majority of this lineup will go [to the World Cup]. There are probably four or five teams that are preparing to capture. Whether he pulls off a few surprises with a 17 or 18-year-old on the bench tonight or someone misses out.
“Rob Page wants people he can trust. He’s going to have older Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey – who will debut in a few years – and have a transition when it comes to younger players. next absorbed this experience and became the next to take over with the Wales team.
“There may be two or three young players now who can step up, like Johnson.”
Wales’ Next game is on Sunday when they hold Poland in the last Nations League match of their Group A4 campaign.
The match in Cardiff, which kicks off at 7.45pm, will be Wales’ last before they head to Qatar to play their first World Cup in 64 years.
Rob Page’s side face the United States in the opening match of the World Cup on November 21 at Al Rayyan Stadium.