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Belgium up and running in World Cup qualifiers as Red Devils put Wales to the sword

Belgium thrashed Wales 3-1 in their opening 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Belgium thrashed Wales 3-1 in their opening 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Modified 27 Mar 2021

Belgium have been the best national team in the world for quite some time now. Although the Red Devils haven’t won any trophies yet, there is hope that their current crop can conjure something special.

Under Roberto Martinez, Belgium have been contenders in every tournament they have graced, impressively finishing third in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

On Wednesday, the Red Devils commenced their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with an impressive win against Wales in Den Dreef. While it was expected to be a tough encounter, Belgium made light work of their hosts.

The Red Devils are now on an impressive five-match win streak. Belgium have lost just two games in almost three years, with the two defeats coming against Switzerland and England in the UEFA Nations League.

Belgium too hot for Wales to handle

The Belgium team is brimming with world-class talent, something that came to the fore against Wales. Despite going down to an early goal from Harry Wilson, Martinez’s side recovered almost immediately.

Manchester City star Kevin De Brunye equalised in the 22nd minute before Thorgan Hazard made it 2-1 six minutes later. Romelu Lukaku then completed the scoring with a well-taken penalty in the second half.

“I am looking at these 52 games where we scored 156 goals. Three goals per game at international level, that is an incredible level,” Martinez said after the game, as quoted by the Mirror. “This group has grown immensely. We had to show the best side in terms of personality and competitive nature against Wales.”

Indeed, Belgium have been incredible in the last few years as they look set to top their qualifying group and reach the quadrennial tournament.

Belgium ready for Euros

As the world’s number one ranked team in football, Belgium will go into this summer’s Euros as one of the favourites.

In terms of squad quality, the Red Devils are up there with the likes of Germany, England, France, Portugal and Spain. And they appear ready to finally break their big-tournament jinx.

This is the country’s golden generation, and most of the players are already in their prime. The likes of De Brunye, Dries Mertens and Lukaku realistically need to win a title with their national team at the Euros this summer of the World Cup next year before age catches up with them.

As things stand now, Belgium are ready for a successful campaign at the Euros. It would take something special to stop the Red Devils' juggernaut.

Published 27 Mar 2021, 13:23 IST
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