With just over a week remaining until the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins, many nations are wrapping up their final few warm-up games. Some will be heading to Russia with bucketloads of confidence and others won’t, and if you’re Belgium fan, you’ll certainly be in the first category after The Red Devils tore through Egypt earlier tonight in a convincing 3-0 victory.
It was always going to be difficult for Egypt to deal with this game in the absence of Mohamed Salah, who is easily the best player in their squad. Plus, it didn’t help that they were coming up against a Belgium side who hadn’t conceded in their last three games. With that being said, they certainly tried to use their physicality in an attempt to intimidate the Belgians from the word go.
They received two bookings in the early stages of the game, redefining the term ‘friendly match’ in the process. Thankfully for the European side, Eden Hazard was feeling up to the task tonight as his powerful shot was saved into the path of Romelu Lukaku who scored a confidence-boosting goal to give his country the advantage.
Hazard himself was able to calmly slot in the second goal of the evening from a nice Carrasco cross, ensuring that Belgium would head into the half-time interval with a comfortable advantage. They rode their victory all the way through until the dying stages of the game with some nice passing football, and of all the players, it was Marouane Fellaini who popped up to seal the deal with a third goal to kill off the Egyptian’s challenge.
This was certainly a much-needed result for the Belgians, as they attempt to finally have a strong run in an international tournament with their golden generation. They’ll take on Costa Rica this Monday night in their final warm-up game, before flying out to Russia to prepare for their group stage opener against Panama.
On the other hand, Egypt will be praying for the speedy return of Mo Salah with their next game being their Group A opener against Uruguay next Friday.
Belgium: Courtois (6), Alderweireld (6), Ciman (6), Vertonghen (6), Meunier (7), Witsel (6), De Bruyne (7.5), Carrasco (7), Hazard (8), Mertens (7), Lukaku (7), Fellaini (6.5), Batshuayi (6), Januzaj (6), Chadli (6.5), T.Hazard (6), Boyata (N/A)
Egypt: El Hadary (5), Fathi (4.5), Gabr (5.5), Hegazi (5), Abdelshafy (5), Hamed (5), Elneny (4.5), Said (5), Sobhi (5), Warda (5), Mohsen (5), Elshenawy (6), Trezeguet (6), Morsy (6), Elmohamady (6), Gaber (6)
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos
Yellow Cards: Hamed, Ibrahim, Elneny
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: Lukaku, Hazard, Fellaini
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