Kazakhstan – Belgium
Kazakhstan faces Belgium at the Astana Arena in Astana in a game from Group I of the European qualifying campaign.
For Kazakhstan this match comes just few days after their dissapointing home defeat against Cyprus. Michal Bilek’s team had a very good chance to move to third spot in the group, but the hosts waisted it.
The match started good for Kazakhstan, because Temirlan Erlanov opened the score with a goal in the 34th minute. Everything went wrong after the halftime break, when Cyprus won the clash with goals from Pieros Soteriou and Nicolas Ioannou.
After this defeat, Kazakhstan remain 4th in the group standings with 7 points won, but now three points behind the 3rd Cyprus.
Belgium’s performance can be described with just one word so far – flawless. The Red Devils are leading the group 21 points, being three points ahead of the second Russia. In seven games played so far, Roberto Martinez’ boys have scored 28 goals and they have conceded just once. This is really impressive.
Few days ago Belgium made another spectacle, beating the underdogs San Marino with 9-0 in Brussels. Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku scored a brace for the Belgians, while Chadli, Alderweireld, Tielemans, Benteke, Verschaeren and Castagne also scored.
Despite of playing against a very weak side like San Marino, Belgium’s manager Roberto Martinez put some of his best players on the pitch. It seems that he wanted his players to prepare for the more difficult trip to Astana, where it’d be a little bit harder for the Red Devils, compared to San Marino. But of course, Belgium remain huge favourites to record an 8th consecutive win in this group.
Can Belgium make it 8 from 8 against Kazakhstan at the Astana Arena? The Red Devils now officially qualified for the Euro 2020, but it doesn’t mean that their desire to win will be gone.