Lost 1-2 against Egypt. That is already painful in itself, but the game was not of such a nature that it should create confidence for the upcoming World Cup group matches. Offensively it was very poor and defensively it is not yet ready. Can that be resolved by Wednesday?
Roberto Martinez kicked off Zeno Debast and Hans Vanaken instead of Dendoncker and Tielemans. The Devils started the game with a lot of dominance and especially Carrasco was given a lot of freedom to make actions. However, Egypt had decided to turn it into a Fort Knox centrally: no way through. Carrasco’s crosses therefore did not reach anyone.
KDB in error
The Egyptians counted on the counter and Trezeguet – ex-Anderlecht – threatened twice and Courtois got in the way just as many times. But something about halfway through the first half, the most unlikely happened: Kevin De Bruyne’s poor control in the center of the box. Mohamed took advantage and placed the ball past Courtois: 0-1.
A lot of work to be done, because offensively it was absolutely not fast enough to play the defense out of context. It was all too predictable. Eden Hazard couldn’t hide his lack of match rhythm either and barely entered into a confrontation. He often played backwards or wide. This Hazard is of little use in top matches.
But there was also too little presence at the front. Batshuayi is not a striker who plays out of the game. That’s easy to defend for the opponent. On one occasion, Carrasco almost took advantage of a falling ball, the only framed shot. Batshuayi also hit the crossbar, but that looked very much like offside. Although they should have received a penalty in the beginning, but the ref did not think it was worth it.
Start of second half: 0-2. One good deep ball from Salah in the back of the defense and Trezeguet could not be retrieved. Still painful on five days of the first group match against Canada. Now you should know that Jonathan David, Tajon Buchanan and Alphonso Davies are not the slowest either.
Even more worryingly, the Devils were unable to create a single well-played chance. Openda, Mertens and Tielemans had come in at half time, but that made little difference. There was pressure, there was possession, but there were no ideas. It was all so predictable. Ball wide, cross the ball, no one in front of goal…
Fifteen minutes before the end it paid off. Carrasco, the most active Devil, found Openda in front of goal and he shot high into the roof. Well done! But the Devils could no longer create great opportunities. Still a very bad dress rehearsal…