Qatar 2022: Why Wales will Qualify for World Cup despite loss to Belgium
Wales started their World Cup qualifying campaign in loss as World number one, Belgium came from behind to secure a 3-1 win in Leuven. This comes as no surprise to many football fans as the star-studded Belgian side is the number one placed team in the World. The encounter was their first contest with Belgium since defeating them 3-1 in the last eight of Euro 2016. The Welsh side shot ahead through Harry Wilson, who was assisted by Superstar Wales winger Gareth Bale.
However, the Red Devils roared back as goals from Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the 22nd minute and Thorgan Hazard in the 28th minute turned the encounter on its head and sent Martinez’s men in at half-time with a 2-1 advantage. Inform Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku sealed the vital win for the Red Devils in the second half of the match, converting a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, after Chris Mephamfell Dries Mertens, as Wales were condemned to their first competitive defeat in 12 games.
The win sees Roberto Martinez’s men, who recorded a 13th successive competitive win at home, into second place in Group E, behind the Czech Republic, who play Wales next at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday as their World Cup qualifying campaign continues, and these game selections can be picked in the footy accumulators to help fans increase their winnings.
Former Wales defender Ashley Williams had some positives to take off the match as he believes the performance wasn’t a bad one from the Welsh team. Starting a qualifying series with a defeat isn’t as bad as it looked especially when you had to face the number one ranked team in the world. As Williams advised the most important this is to build on the momentum, as it was the most difficult match of the campaign to start with.
Ashley Williams told Sky Sports after the match, “This was a tough game for the boys. There were some good parts in it but maybe they were a little bit naïve at times, which you are going to get. We don’t have a lot of caps within the group but they are doing well. “We started well with an unbelievable goal, but two bits of quality saw Belgium come back. “There are positives for Wales to take, but they will be disappointed they haven’t got something out of the game”, he concluded.
It was indeed a tough ask, but the loss now puts a lot of emphasis on the next match against the Czech Republic, as staying unbeaten at home helps build momentum. Belgium boss, Roberto Martinez, on his part said the match became even tougher at the moment that the Red Devils conceded the first goal. The Belgian manager side, “Wales adapted to the game better than us and we had two choices. To accept it and let the game go away from you, or show personality and bravery – and that’s what the team did.”
The reaction of Martinez is a testament to the decent display of the Welsh team and hands Bale and the rest of the boys with the hope of picking a ticket to the World Cup in Qatar.