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Wilmots: Belgium must be more clinical

Marc Wilmots has stressed Belgium must improve their finishing if they are to go far at Euro 2016 following their hard-fought 1-0 win over Sweden in Nice.

The Belgians got a number of chances to grab the lead, but eventually needed a late stunner from Radja Nainggolan to emerge victorious and confirm their spot in the knockout stages.

“We did well defensively, but our finishing should have been better,” Wilmots said at a media conference.

“We had to be patient. They were the team that had to score, so we defended a bit deeper. We got plenty of chances on the counterattack, but their goalkeeper was very good. 

“We have some great players in attack. [Romelu] Lukaku had a great game. He won a lot of duels and created some chances for himself.  Maybe we could have killed the game off earlier.

“But we are back on track.  It is not easy to progress from a group like this. We have six points from three games, which is very good. We kept two clean sheets on our way to the next round. I can only congratulate my players. We have Hungary up now.”

Wilmots briefly spoke to Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the final whistle following the striker’s international retirement and the Belgium coach was full of praise for the 34-year-old.

“Ibrahimovic is a great character. I complimented him with his career. He has done a lot of things for Swedish football. I paid him a compliment and wished him the best for the future,” he added.  

“You have to be very careful when you play against someone like Ibra. Sometimes he drops a bit deeper and then all of a sudden he is one-on-one with the centre-backs again. So we needed one of [Axel] Witsel and Nainggolan to help out in defence.”

Wed 22 Jun, 2016
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