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Monday, September 7, 2015

Belgium Men's National Soccer Team News


September 6, 2015 - Eden Hazard scores in win over Cyprus
Belgium moved to within touching distance of a spot at UEFA EURO 2016 after securing a hard-fought 1-0 win over hosts Cyprus and consolidating their hold on second place in qualifying Group B. The victory clinched by Eden Hazard four minutes from time means Marc Wilmots's side are assured of a play-off spot thanks to their superior head-to-head record with Bosnia and Herzegovina.... In the 86th minute, a fine searching ball found substitute Dries Mertens in space on the left and his perfectly measured cutback meant Hazard could pick his spot; he placed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to secure his side a vital three points." - UEFA

September 3, 2015 - Fellaini, De Bruyne and Hazard score in win over Bosnia Herzegovina
"Belgium enhanced their prospects of automatic qualification from UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group B with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels. In a match billed as Belgium's biggest since the FIFA World Cup, the capacity crowd were stunned as Edin Džeko converted Bosnia and Herzegovina's first chance on 15 minutes. Conceding spurred second-placed Belgium into action and goals from Marouane Fellaini, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard ensured Marc Wilmots's side could put their last qualifier, a loss to group leaders Wales, behind them.... Belgium exacted swift retribution as Fellaini equalised eight minutes later with an emphatic header from a De Bruyne corner. Fellaini, loping forward from his midfield role in the 4-3-3 system, was becoming increasingly influential. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku also threatened as the hosts played with greater urgency. Belgium looked rejuvenated and grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time as De Bruyne turned and shot beyond Asmir Begović after patient build-up play. In the second half Thibaut Courtois beat away an explosive Haris Medunjanin volley, before Hazard sealed the win with a confident penalty he had earned when fouled by Ognjen Vranješ." - UEFA

September 1, 2015 - roster named for Bosnia-Herzegovina & Cyprus matches
  • Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Jean-Francois Gillet (Mechelen), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 
  • Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Jason Denayer (Manchester City), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) 
  • Midfielders: Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Steven Defour (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Radja Nainggolan (Roma), Axel Witsel (Zenit) 
  • Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Marseille), Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Divock Origi (Liverpool)
June 7, 2015 - Marouane Fellaini scores brace in win over France
"Marouane Fellaini played chief tormentor as France suffered a 4-3 home defeat in a home friendly against Belgium, one year before the European Championship kicks off on their turf. The Manchester United midfielder scored two first-half goals before Radja Nainggolan and Eden Hazard, from the penalty spot, added to the tally after the break. Les Bleus replied through Mathieu Valbuena’s second-half penalty and late goals by Nabil Fekir and Dimitri Payet." - Guardian

March 31, 2015 - Marouane Fellaini scores in win over Israel
Marouane Fellaini scored the winner as Belgium beat Israel 1-0 in their European Qualifier - but skipper Vincent Kompany was sent off.... Belgium scored the only goal of the game after nine minutes in Jerusalem and showed their quality with free-flowing moves and constant pressure, particularly in the first half. The only goal of the game had an element of fortune to it. Former Chelsea star Kevin de Bruyne sliced at attempted volley but the ball landed fortuitously at the feet of Kompany on the edge of the box. His cross-shot fell into the path of Manchester United's Fellaini who could no mistake from close range." - Sky Sports

March 28, 2015 - Marouane Fellaini scores brace in 5-0 win over Cyprus
"Belgium moved above Cyprus in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group B, collecting three points in Brussels in some comfort. Marouane Fellaini set Marc Wilmots' team on their way to victory with the opening goal midway through the first half, Christian Benteke making it 2-0 before half-time. Two goals in as many minutes midway through the second period, from Fellaini again and Eden Hazard, wrapped up the win before Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to mark his international debut with a goal." - UEFA

March 23, 2015 - Romelu Lukaku & Steven Defour out with injuries
"Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of Belgium's forthcoming UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers through injury. The 21-year-old limped off in Sunday's 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers with a hamstring problem which manager Roberto Martinez hoped would prove just to be cramp. However, the Belgian Football Association has announced Lukaku and Anderlecht midfielder Steven Defour will not feature against Cyprus on Saturday or Israel the following Tuesday. '@steven_defour35 & @RomeluLukaku9 are out for #belcyp & #isrbel,' said a message posted on Twitter by both the Belgian FA and coach Marc Wilmots. Lukaku has played 44 matches for club and country this season, scoring 18 times in 42 appearances for Everton." - FIFA

March 20, 32015 - roster updates
"The Belgium squad was today announced by their FA’s official Twitter page and there was a number of Premier League players who were included in the Red Devils team. In between the sticks was Liverpool’s in-form No.1 Simon Mignolet, while Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois was also in there despite the recent struggles for Chelsea in the league. Belgium face Cyprus and Israel in upcoming friendlies and another name in the squad is Vincent Kompany, who has come under extreme pressure recently following some below-par performances for Premier League reigning champions Manchester City. Manchester United’s in-form midfielder Marouane Fellaini is also named in the squad, as he continues to shine for the Red Devils.... Liverpool’s Divock Origi is also included, the Belgian on loan at Lille, while Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Mousa Dembele are also included. Jan Vertonghen is also included despite his horror show against Manchester United last week, while two midfield Red Devils targets Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne (as reported by the Metro) and Axel Witsel (as reported by the Metro too) are included in the party." - Squawka

November 12, 2014 - Lombaerts, Origi & Lukaka score in 3-1 win over Iceland
"Liverpool striker Divock Origi and Everton forward Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score in the second half in Brussels. Nicolas Lombaerts put the home side ahead in the 12th minute when he headed home Adnan Januzaj's free kick but the defender was at fault a minute later when he left Alfred Finnbogason to force the ball home at the far post. Origi, on a season-long loan to French side Lille, let fly with a 25-yard drive to put Belgium 2-1 up in the 62nd minute and Lukaku sealed victory in the friendly match with a tap in." - Daily Mail

October 10, 2014 - Kevin De Bruyne & Dries Mertens each score brace in win over Andorra
"Belgium began Group B by equalling their record UEFA EURO winning margin, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens scoring twice each.  Belgium underlined their attacking prowess with a 6-0 destruction of Andorra in their opening UEFA EURO 2016 Group B qualifier.... The home side's relentless pressure finally paid off on the half-hour mark. Dries Mertens was tugged in the box and De Bruyne confidently sent Ferran Pol the wrong way from the spot to break the deadlock. Almost immediately it was De Bruyne again, as he took an Origi pass in his stride to coolly slide the ball past Pol from just inside the area. Chadli soon made it three with a controlled half-volley after a Jan Vertonghen centre evaded Pol's desperate lunge. The one-way traffic continued after the restart, Origi netting the fourth when he took a pass from De Bruyne on the edge of the box, turned one defender and ghosted past another before dispatching low into the corner.Dries Mertens was next to register with a header from almost on the goal line after Toby Alderweireld crossed from the right; he promptly notched the second quickfire double of the night with a stinging drive." - UEFA

September 4, 2014 - Mertens & Witsel score in win over Australia
"Belgium built on its World Cup momentum with a 2-0 victory over Australia on Thursday in a preparation game for 2016 European Championship qualifying. Belgium turned dominance into a goal in the 18th minute. First, winger Kevin De Bruyne hit the woodwork and the rebound eventually fell to Dries Mertens, who miscued an angled shot which ricocheted in over goalkeeper Matthew Ryan. Axel Witsel doubled the score in the 78th with a long-distance drive." - USA Today

July 1, 2014 - Kevin De Bruyne & Romelu Lukaku extra time goals give Belgians 2-1 win over USA
"A somewhat lifeless 90 minutes of regulation where two teams cancelled each other out, followed by 30 minutes of extra time that was an absolute thrill ride featuring several twists and turns in the plot. Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku in the 93rd and 105th minute seemed to settle the matter. Lukaku came on at the start of the first extra time period and his fresh legs gave extra oomph to a Belgian team that was the far better side in regulation but couldn’t find a way to score. Lukaku’s hard work in setting up De Bruyne and then scoring his first goal of the competition seemed to finish off the Americans. The U.S. was clinging to life and more than a little desperate, underlined by manager Jurgen Klinsmann decision to bring on 19-year-old Julian Green at the start of the second extra time period. But the move paid off—like Lukaku had done earlier, Green’s energy put an extra step in the Americans’ tired legs and his goal in the 107th minute suddenly made it a contest again. The U.S. pressed, but the Belgians last-ditch defending saw them hold on—just barely." - Sportsnet

June 26, 2014 - Jan Vertonghen scores in win over South Korea
"Belgium lived on the edge in each match but advanced to face the U.S. in the World Cup knockout round on the backs of its substitutes. Late goals by reserves powered Belgium past Algeria and Russia. Then a  goal against South Korea on Thursday gave the Belgians a 1-0 victory and the No. 1 seed coming out of Group H play.... against South Korea, Belgium was locked in a scoreless tie, and was playing a man down after Steven Defour received a red card just before halftime, before Vertonghen scored the game's only goal in the 77th minute." - LA Times

June 22, 2014 - Divock Origi kicks Belgium to 1-0 win over Russia
"Not that Belgium were much better. They had offered almost nothing in the second half before suddenly being stimulated by a Kevin Mirallas free-kick that hit the post with seven minutes remaining, Eden Hazard, uninvolved until then, woke up and, after having a shot deflected wide for a corner, set up the winner with a darting run to the byline, before cutting the ball back for the substitute Divock Origi to take his time and smash a shot past Igor Akinfeev. Belgium have own both games and are through to the last 16, but it was another scratchy display from a side widely tipped as potential winners." - The Guardian

June 17, 2014 - Marouane Fellaini & Dries Mertens score in win over Algeria
"Sofiane Feghouli's goal would be the only tally of the first half as Algeria's defense kept the talented Belgium side from breaking through. The slim margin would last deep into the second half, until Belgium coach Marc Wilmots sent Marouane Fellaini onto the pitch. After taking the field in the 65th minute, Fellaini netted the equalizer with a header on a cross from Kevin De Bruyne just five minutes later. Dominating possession throughout and perhaps emboldened late by their opening goal, the Belgium attackers delivered a go-ahead strike in the 80th minute on the counterattack. Taking a pass from Eden Hazard on the break, striker Dries Mertens, another substitute sent on by Wilmots, stroked a brilliant right-footed shot past Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi." - Huffington Post

June 7, 2014 - Mertens scores, Lukaka injured in win over Tunisia
Dries Mertens scored in the 89th minute as Belgium clinched a 1-0 victory over Tunisia in their final warm-up game for the World Cup on Saturday. The match was interrupted for around 40 minutes after a severe hail storm forced players off the field in the first half, while an injury suffered by striker Romelu Lukaku will be of concern for the Belgians. After a successful preparation campaign highlighted by a 5-1 victory over Luxembourg and a 2-0 win in Sweden, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots sought safety first for the send-off game against Tunisia. He kept forward Lukaku on the bench until the 61st minute after the striker had already proven his form with four goals in the last two games, but the forward limped off before full-time after sustaining an injury." - ESPN

June 1, 2014 - Eden Hazard plays & Romelu Lukaku scores again
"Eden Hazard quelled doubts over his fitness by scoring in Belgium's 2-0 win over Sweden on Sunday. A knee injury had meant Hazard was doubtful for the contest at Solna's Friends Arena, creating concern for Belgium supporters with their World Cup opener versus Algeria just over two weeks away. But the Chelsea winger put those worries aside, his 79th-minute strike adding to Romelu Lukaku's effort as Marc Wilmots' claimed a solid victory. Hazard was withdrawn immediately after, with Wilmots no doubt relieved to see his star man come through unscathed. The head coach would also have taken great heart from Lukaku's goal, as he found the net with a stunning controlled finish from range to follow up a hat-trick against Luxembourg earlier this week." - Goal

May 13, 2014 - World Cup roster named
Goalkeepers:
  • Koen Casteels (Hoffenheim)
  • Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid)
  • Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
Defenders:
  • Toby Alderweireld (Atlético Madrid)
  • Laurent Ciman (Standard)
  • Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
  • Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit)
  • Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich)
  • Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht)
  • Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
  • Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) 
Midfielders:
  • Nacer Chadli (Tottenham)
  • Steven Defour (Porto)
  • Moussa Dembélé (Tottenham)
  • Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
  • Axel Witsel (Zenit) 
Forwards:
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsbourg)
  • Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
  • Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)
  • Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
  • Dries Mertens (Napoli)
  • Kevin Mirallas (Everton)
  • Divock Origi (LOSC)

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