Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kieffer Moore cleared things out in the Group E of the World Cup Qualifiers. Belgium progress as group winners, while Wales see out the 2nd spot.
Coming into the game, Wales made 4 changes to their starting eleven which thrashed Belarus 5-1. Kieffer Moore replaced the injured Gareth Bale, while Chris Mepham replaced the suspended Ethan Ampadu. Joe Morrell blended in the midfield in place of Harry Wilson. Belgium on the other hand, made 6 changes. Likes of Timothy Castagne, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel and Hans Vanaken being the survivors from the 11 that saw off Estonia 3-1.
Roberto Martinez’s men commenced after having already booked their tickets for the 2022 World Cup. With Czech Republic lurking behind, Rob Page’s side had their eyes locked on the 2nd spot.
The home side started out all guns blazing. However, it was Belgium who opened the scoring early in the first half. Kevin De Bruyne instinctively passed one past Danny Ward’s net to give Belgium the lead. 1-0.
Kieffer Moore scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute of the game. The Cardiff City striker took advantage of the Belgian defence who struggled to clear their lines multiple times. 1-1.
Below are the player ratings for Wales – Belgium –
Danny Ward – 6.5/10
Standard performance from Danny Ward. Made a couple of good saves and guarded his box well.
Neco Williams 7.5/10
Quality performance from Neco Williams. Looked dangerous especially in the second-half
Ben Davies – 7/10
Playing as a left centre-back, Davies grew into the game.
Chris Mepham – 6/10
Filled up nicely for Ethan Ampadu.
Joe Rodon -7/10
Solid performance from Rodon. Kept Belgian forwards out of the game.
Joe Morrell – 5/10
Standard 5 for Joe Morrel. Managed his game well after getting booked in the first half.
Aaron Ramsey – 6/10
Not the night the stand in captain of the night was looking for. The Belgian defence did a good job of marking out his late runs into the box.
Joe Allen – 7/10
Quality performance from Joe Allen. Made himself big defensively and created a couple of key passes going forward.
Connor Roberts – 6/10
Was given the license to bomb forward. However, his crosses struggled to find Welsh heads.
Daniel James – 8/10
One of the finest performances from Daniel James. The Leeds winger had a lively presence about him. Made a couple of decent runs in behind the Belgian defence, one of which resulted as a goal.
Kieffer Moore 8.5/10
Scored the equalizer, pressed effectively, linked up nicely, took the mandatory yellow card and kept the crowd singing for the entire game. Welcome back, Kieffer Moore!
Brennan Johnson – N/A
Johnson came on late for Aaron Ramsey
Kon Casteels – 7/10
Had more to do in the second half. Made a stunning save off Neco Williams and showed confidence playing out from the back.
Timothy Castagne – 6/10
Not an eventful outing for Castagne. Nevertheless, the Leicester man could have done better clearing his lines leading upto the equalizer in the first half.
Dedryck Boyata – 7/10
Best of the Belgian defence. Apart from being solid defensively, Boyata didn’t shy away helping in build-up.
Arthur Theate – 4/10
Not one to remember for Arthur Theate. Should have done a better job in clearing his lines for the Kieffer Moore goal.
Thomas Meunier – 6/10
Faded away as the game progressed. Did his job going forward. However, lacked sharpness defensively.
Axel Witsel – 6.5/10
Never really made his mark going forward.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10
Gave Belgium the lead. However, still not the best De Bruyne in terms of creating chances from open space.
Thorgan Hazard – 7/10
Had his moments going forward in the first half.
Hans Vanaken – 7/10
Was effective with his passes. Lacked a bit defensively.
Charles De Ketelaere – 6/10
Like Origi, Ketalaere struggled with lack of service.
Divock Origi – 6.5/10
Quiet night for Divock Origi. Amid lack of service, the striker tried to make things happen on his own. However, failed to do anything impactful.
Leander Dendoncker – 6/10
Got caught out once in a dangerous area by Daniel James. Struggled to make an impact going forward.
Alexis Saelemaekers – NA
Dante Vanzier – NA
Leandro Trossard – 6/10
Looked lively upon coming on. However, didn’t get enough time to make anything happen.
Jan Vertonghen – 5/10
Standard 5 for Vertonghen who came on late for Arthur Theate.