Brussels, Sep 22 (EFE) .- Belgium beat Wales (2-1) with goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi, despite the fact that Kieffer Moore closed the gap, and the Red Devils amassed a victory that will allow them to fight on Sunday in Amsterdam for first place in Group D of the League of Nations against the Netherlands.
An early goal by Kevin De Bruyne, who spliced Batshuayi’s low pass from outside the box in the 10th minute, put things on track for Roberto Martínez’s men in the Red Devils’ last game on Belgian soil before the World Cup in Qatar.
In the following minutes, with Rob Page’s men stunned and the Belgian public enjoying their game at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco or again De Bruyne will be able to score, who in the 26th minute sent a ball to the post again from the front of the area.
The second goal, which hovered around Wayne Hennessey’s goal, came again thanks to the De Bruyne-Batshuayi duo, but this time with an assist from inside the box by the Manchester City midfielder that the Fenerbahçe striker pushed in, certifying the dominance of the Belgians in a first half where they had 68% possession.
The Belgian defense, made up of debutant Zeno Debast, and veterans Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, were untroubled and continental goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois barely suffered in the first half.
But things changed to rest. Five minutes into the second period, with no changes to either team, Brennan Johnson ran down the flank and crossed for Moore, who beat Alderweireld in the air and headed the Belgian goal, returning a meter to the Dragons at the match.
Roberto Martínez, who did not have the injured Romelu Lukaku, then refreshed the attack of the locals, placing Dries Merteens, Loïs Openda and Leandro Trossard on the field for Yannick Carrasco, Batsuahy and Eden Hazard, participatory in the 65 minutes he played, in which the Belgian captain and Real Madrid attacker use two yellow ones.
On the part of the Welsh, deprived of Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen, injured, Rob Page also moved the bench and replaced Matthew Smith and Kieffer Moore with Joe Morrell and Gareth Bale.
When the game was more competitive, the Turkish Ali Palabiyik said a penalty by Joe Morrell on De Bruyne that could have changed the outcome, but the referee annulled the maximum penalty after reviewing the video, as the defender had clearly touched the ball before bringing down to the attacker.
The Red Devils, with Axel Witsel ruling in the midfield and Courtois safely under the sticks, took control again in the final stretch of a match with a World Cup flavor, as both teams will be in Qatar in November, and they did not give up space to the surprises
Already in the added time, Roberto Martínez was sent off after retaining a ball that had gone out wide so that his team could recover their position after a counterattack by the British, with which his second, the former French international Thierry Henry, assumed technical command.
Belgium will try on Sunday to take first place in the group that gives access to the semifinals of the League of Nations, for which they will have to come back against the Netherlands, first classified, the goal disadvantage after conceding 1-4 at home against the by Louis Van Gaal last June.
– Data sheet:
2 – Belgium: Courtois; Debast, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans (Vanaken, m.76), Witsel, Carrasco (Marteens, m.65); De Bruyne (De Katelaere, m.91), Batshuayi (Openda, m.65) and Hazard (Trossard, m.65).
1 – Wales: Hennessey; Roberts, Rodon, Chris Mepham, Williams; Smith (Morrel, m.64), Ampadu, Norrington-Davies (Roberts, m.84); James, Johnson and Moore (Bale, m.64).
Goals: 1-0: De Bruyne, m.10; 2-0: Batshuayi, m.37; 2-1: Moore, m.50.
Referee: Ali Palabiyik (TUR). He booked visitors Mephan (m.48), Ampadu (m.59) and Bale (m.78) and sent off local coach Roberto Martínez (m.93).
Incidents: Match corresponding to the fifth day of the League of Nations played at the Rey Balduino Stadium before some 35,000 spectators.
(c) EFE Agency