Belgium logically beat Portugal

Belgium logically beat Portugal

Belgium lost to Portugal (2-1) in a preparation match, on Tuesday, in Leiria, in preparation for the 2016 European Championship, in a strong emotional atmosphere after the attacks that Brussels witnessed a week ago.

The match was initially scheduled to be held at King Baudouin Stadium, but was held at Lusitania Stadium due to the Brussels attacks on March 22. The Red Devils displayed a message on their warm-up shirt: “In memory of all the victims – Brussels, 22.03.2016Marc Wilmots' men also wore a black armband. A minute's silence was observed at kick-off, and the two teams mingled in the middle of the field to play the national anthem in honor of all the victims of the events that took place in Brussels.

First half without desire

In an emotionally charged match, it was the Portuguese who made the best start. Within two minutes, Thibaut Courtois blocked three Seleção attempts through Joao Mario (10th), Adrian (10th) and Nani (12th) before turning Ronaldo's header onto the crossbar from a corner kick (13th). Not in the game, the Devils admitted logically. With a beautiful pass from Andre Gomez, Nani deceived Courtois with a shot from inside the right foot (20th minute). Off the counter, Joao Mario was unable to fool the alertness of Courtois, who stepped out well to reduce the angle. Belgium's first shot on goal came from the foot of Dries Mertens, benefiting from a good pass from Nasser Shadi (37). Portugal hit the nail on the head before half-time. On an opening from Ronaldo to Joao Mario, the latter found his captain in the small rectangle, who did not hesitate to deceive Thibaut Courtois with an accidental header (40). A wonderful formation between Mertens and Witsel ended with a direct shot from a Zenith player that was blocked by Pepe, the magic of the Lukaku brothers.

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The magic of the Lukaku brothers

Ronaldo benefited from poor control from Guelé, the last man. Fortunately for Marc Wilmots' gang, the Madrid striker was placed next to the Belgian cage (52). After a foul by Pepe, Belgium were awarded a free kick. Radja Nainggolan fired a powerful shot, but Rui Patricio blocked it with his fists (55). In one of the first moves worthy of this name, Jordan Lukaku, who entered the match four minutes earlier, sent a perfect cross from his left wing to his brother Romelu. The Everton striker, who has not scored with the Devils since November 12, 2014 against Iceland, deceived the goalkeeper with a header (62). Radja Nainggolan sent another long shot past the opposing post (81).

After five straight wins, Belgium lost, by turns, to a more offensively creative Lusitanian side. We will have to show a completely different face on May 28 against Switzerland in Lausanne.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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