winning without shining, Belgium learned the lesson of 2018

Dominated by Canada for their entry into the 2022 World Cup, the Red Devils still won 1-0. A realistic philosophy that they had blamed on France after the 2018 semi-final.

Belgium suffered, Belgium folded, but Belgium won. For their first match in the 2022 World Cup this Wednesday, the Red Devils painfully defeated Canada (1-0). Overwhelmed by the rapid onslaught of willing but clumsy Canucks in front of goal, they suffered a good part of the game. “We didn’t think they would press so hard“Admitted goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after the game. His team owes him a debt of gratitude. The Real Madrid goalkeeper saved a penalty in the first half before multiplying parries and quality raises. It is one of the rare satisfactions of an overwhelmed Belgian eleven.

It was not the best Belgium tonight“, conceded Michy Batshuayi, the only scorer of the meeting. However, he and his teammates were able to find the resources to win. Proof that the beautiful game is not synonymous with victory, and vice versa. “Technically this may be our worst performance in a major tournament, stresses coach Roberto Martinez. But it’s not our worst game since we won.»

The sprinkler watered

Winning without shining, this is precisely what France was reproached for in 2018 by… Belgium. The two teams met in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia. Despite a clear Belgian domination, the Blues won 1-0 thanks to a header from a corner by Samuel Umtiti. “It was a frustrating game, France played for nothing, defending with eleven players 40 yards from their goalhad railed Thibaut Courtois after the match. The frustration is there because we lose against a team that is not better than us.

The parallel is fun. Against Canada, the apostle of the beautiful game has become the cold and realistic machine that she vilified yesterday. And his coach to recognize that “winning a World Cup match when you play badly is no coincidence“. One night stand or new game philosophy? In the meantime, on the Belgian side, we are very happy with the three points. “In the end we win, so we are happy“, confides the middle Axel Witsel. After the half of 2018, Thibaut Courtois felt he was “too bad for football that Belgium did not win“. What does football think of it today?

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