It may not have been all that special against Canada, but the Red Devils have a world record. For the time being shared with Brazil (1986-1994 and 2002-2010) because both football countries are the only ones ever to win eight consecutive group stage victories. The series already started in 2002. One more win against Morocco and the Belgians will only become the world record holder. An overview.
June 14, 2002, Shizuoka, Group H, Belgium v Russia 3-2
- June 14, 2002, Shizuoka, Group H, Belgium v Russia 3-2
- June 17, 2014, Belo Horizonte, Group H, Belgium-Algeria 2-1
- June 22, 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Group H, Belgium-Russia 1-0
- June 26, 2014, Sao Paolo, Group H, Belgium-South Korea 1-0
- June 18, 2018, Socchi, Group G, Belgium-Panama 3-0
- June 23, 2018, Moscow, Group G, Belgium-Tunisia 5-2
- June 28, 2018, Kaliningrad, Group G, Belgium-England 2-0
- November 23, 2022, Doha, Group F, Belgium-Canada 1-0
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The Red Devils led by Marc Wilmots and Gert Verheyen play with the knife to the throat. They took only two points from their first two games against home country Japan and Tunisia and had to beat the Russians to advance to the second round. With goals from Walem (magnificent free kick), substitute Sonck and Wilmots, the Devils make it 3-2. The Russians must go home. The Belgians had no idea that this would be the start of a world record series.
June 17, 2014, Belo Horizonte, Group H, Belgium-Algeria 2-1
After twelve years of absence from the World Cup, the nerves are tense. Even more if the Devils fall behind after 25 minutes. It is precisely the substitute Fellaini and Mertens who ultimately ensure the 2-1 win. Oof.
June 22, 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Group H, Belgium-Russia 1-0
The match is known as the breakthrough of Divock Origi, at the time only 19 years old and surprisingly included in the selection by national coach Marc Wilmots. In the final phase with a 0-0 on the board, the young attacker takes a dribble and releases Eden Hazard who blasts in hard. 1-0 and the Red Devils are already certain of the next round.
June 26, 2014, Sao Paolo, Group H, Belgium-South Korea 1-0
There is nothing more at stake for the Red Devils. They are even certain of the group win and national coach Marc Wilmots mainly has players who did not play in the first two games. Steven Defour gets a red card in the first half and Anthony Vanden Borre breaks his fibula. A lot of misfortune, but Jan Vertonghen still manages to score.
June 18, 2018, Socchi, Group G, Belgium-Panama 3-0
It all goes a bit difficult in the first half against this debutant at a World Cup. Romelu Lukaku is the bitten dog because he is not good in the match. After the break, Dries Mertens breaks the spell with a great goal and Lukaku adds two more. Good start.
June 23, 2018, Moscow, Group G, Belgium-Tunisia 5-2
The Red Devils are completely loose, at their very best. They play the Tunisians from pillar to post and Lukaku and Eden Hazard each score twice. Two games far and just like four years earlier, the Red Devils are certain of the second round.
June 28, 2018, Kaliningrad, Group G, Belgium-England 2-0
What a strange match. A match that neither country, both of which are already certain of the second round, can best win. Because that means that you get to the difficult half of the table and can meet top countries such as Brazil and France in the next round. Adnan Januzaj does not play the game and scores the 1-0. Belgium is on the difficult half, England on the easy. Both countries will only fall in the semi-finals.
November 23, 2022, Doha, Group F, Belgium-Canada 1-0
Today the question is still how the Devils could win this match. They play a weak game and the Canadians, only for the second time at a World Cup, are much better. But they don’t score and Batshuayi does. That means eight victories in the group stage in a row. One more win and the Belgians will become world record holders alone.