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Mirallas can't do it for Belgium

by | 05/07/2014  Comments (18)  jump
Argentina 1 - 0 Belgium
Kevin Mirallas has been chosen by Wilmots to start Belgium's crucial quarterfinal game against Argentina in Estadio Nacional, Brasilia. Romelu Lukaku is on the bench.

Belgium made just one change from that dramatic extra-time victory in Salvador. Kevin Mirallas comes into the side on the strength of an excellent performance as a substitute in that last-16 victory. He replaced Dries Mertens. Divock Origi kept his place as Belgium's lone striker despite the impact made by Romelu Lukaku.

Argentina made three changes, with Manchester City's Martin Demichelis replacing Federico Fernandez, Jose Basanta replaced the suspended left-back Marcos Rojo, who served a one-game ban, Lucas Biglia coming into the side in place of Fernando Gago.

But the early goal, a first-time volley by Higuain off a deflected pass, gave Belgium a massive mountain to climb and they struggled again to gel as a team, Mirallas coming off at the hour mark, and Lukaku coming on after Higuain hit the bar for Argentina.

Belgium huffed and puffed, resorting to a horrible display of hoofball in the last 10 mins, trying to take advantage of their obvious height advantage in the Argentine penalty area, but failing miserably, allowing a slightly better Argentina team to make another step toward the 'dream' final with their hosts.


Reader Comments (18)

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Steve Bell
1 Posted 05/07/2014 at 18:55:37
Well after another mediocre display by Lukaku, 㿀m+. Not worth it me thinks.
Paul Andrews
2 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:00:23
Mirallas did okay... in and out of the game. Not bad when in possession; very unlucky with a great header.

How much will Fellaini go for? Very good at the snide studs down the back of the leg, the elbow in the face, and the leave-your-studs-up challenge.

His football ability? No thanks.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 05/07/2014 at 18:58:21
A tournament that began with exciting football and moments of magic has degenerated into a war of attrition and so called professionalism aided and abetted by whistle happy referees. Argentina, Germany, Brazil and undoubtedly Holland will provide the last four representatives that most 'experts' would have predicted and that most sponsors and TV companies would have wanted.

Let's hope that Costa Rica can provide an upset to keep the interest alive for the neutrals as none of the other sides provide the quality you would expect from teams of the caliber of those particular nations. It would appear that the game of football is more about the historical reputation of a club or nation rather than the actual quality of the players representing those clubs or nations.

I''m not for one moment doubting that the three sides who have managed to get to the Semi-Finals have not deserved to, rather, I would have hoped to have seen far more quality and adventure from them during the competition.

But if Holland do manage to make it to the Semis I am expecting both Semi-Final games to go to a penalty shoot-out and likewise the final with the strong possibility of not a single goal from open play being scored in all three matches.

Geoffrey Caveney
4 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:16:58
Steve, I don't blame Lukaku, it was his teammates' job to get balls to him, and they could not complete two passes in a row against Argentina's defense. If interest in Lukaku cools, I hope we can sign him, so he can do exactly what he did for us last season:

Look how many of our goals he played a key role in. Plus, this year we can play him against Chelski too.

Gerry Quinn
5 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:28:20
Yet another so-called team of stars who can't get it together... An awful performance from Belgium – so disappointed.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:33:00
I think this was a tournament too early for a very young Belgian team.
Sue Brown
7 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:36:46
Patrick (#3),

I agree with everything you said. The quality of the football hasn't been to the expected standard by any means, despite what the TV pundits say.

Keith Glazzard
8 Posted 05/07/2014 at 19:52:22
I like Lukaku. The failings of the Belgians to use the talents available to them at least hasn't obviously doubled his price tag, and I hope this is to our advantage.
Tom Bowers
9 Posted 05/07/2014 at 20:05:22
Although many games were interesting, only a few were exciting, and I agree the standard, especially by the so-called big teams, was somewhat sub-standard so I don't expect the semi-finals and final to be anything but disappointing.

There has been too much snide tackling especially the stamping on players' feet which seems to be the new tactic. The challenge on Neymar yesterday was awful and was deliberate. Belgium played as well as they could but lacked the pace and the smarts of the Argies.

I for one will be glad when the Prem.starts up.

Trevor Lynes
10 Posted 05/07/2014 at 20:26:01
Lukaku is worth 㿀 million and would be a great investment at his age if we can get him.

Mirallas was really pPissed off when he was subbed and I don't blame him. Belgium were really slow in their build-up and did not use Mirallas or Lukaku properly. De Bruyn is over rated and really poor.

Refs are spoiling the games of late and are favouring South American sides. I am afraid this World Cup is going the usual way of late and refs are not being strong enough. The ref in the Brazil match marked out the ten yards and then allowed Brazil to charge down the free kick without yellow-carding the offenders.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 05/07/2014 at 21:01:02
Belgium have been crap all tournament, let's be honest, and never lived up to the hype. I do agree that it possibly was a World Cup too soon for what is a young side in general.

Ant Dwyer
12 Posted 05/07/2014 at 23:56:07
I think Wilmots (the Belgium manager) made a huge mistake not starting Romelu Lukaku. His performance in the last game was good enough to put them where they are, even as a sub who only had 40 mina.

As for Mirallas, I canÂ’t see why people give him such a hard time. Today out of BelgiumÂ’s four attackers (De Brune, Hazard, Origi and Mirallas), I thought Mirallas was clearly the most dangerous. I can understand his frustration at being substituted when the other three are doing less than him.

I think Mirallas can be a little frustrating at times (for Everton this is now) hence BobbyÂ’s constant decision to take him off or drop him; he sometimes doesnÂ’t get involved enough for me as he has all the ability plus a fair bit of fire and fight in his belly, but still goes missing for big portions of the game.

That said, he assisted more than any other Blue last season, plus chipped in with a couple of goals. If Bobby can make him feel important and get the ball to him more often, he could become massive for us. Coleman and Mirallas down our right should be frightening.

Anyways, hard lines today, Kevin, get your self on ya hols and come back to us fresh and ready for a big season. Also, try an bring a few friends, as you have plenty of talented ones. Belgium have a big chance of ripping up Euro 2016.

Mark Andersson
13 Posted 06/07/2014 at 03:39:18
The sooner the Lukaku transfer to whoever is sorted, the better. IÂ’m sick to death of the on going debate as to is he worth it. With no signings so far and Roberto still doing his paid holiday thing, there seems to be a bit of panic setting in with some fans.

As with all football issues, itÂ’s a matter of opinion and yet no oneÂ’s opinion except the people who run the club matters. But I for one live in hope that Everton will carry on where they left off.

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 06/07/2014 at 07:57:50

I agree with your post in the main about the Lukaku debate dragging on. I personally think he will end up going to Spurs or Atletico Madrid.

If he leaves Chelsea on a permanent, then we wonÂ’t be in the running for him, you can see as clear as day that Kenwright was hoping for a another loan agreement from his "friends at Chelsea".

I think we are entitled to be getting a tad nervous though, it may only be July 6 but we have lost three key members of the squad and are yet to sign anybody; we have lost our top scorer with no real sign of replacing him in the near future. We have not replaced the pace on the wing from the subs bench in Deulofeu – cameo displays they were from him, but still he was a big asset to have.

I am also concerned as to why the Gareth Barry deal seems to be dragging on and on. I said last week, how long are we prepared to wait for him?

Then there is the nonsense of re-signing that Traore. If we need 6-7 players then we are entitled to start getting nervy in my opinion.

Shane Corcoran
15 Posted 06/07/2014 at 09:08:40
I see Super Kev got in on the diving act early on in the game. I find him very frustrating as a player. I think that he thinks that's he's better than he is.
Mike Childs
16 Posted 07/07/2014 at 22:35:39
Spot on Ant (12) Mirallas outplayed Hazard, DeBruyne, Felliani and Orgini. He simply isn't a Wilmots favorite. DeBryue obviously is as he's been 50-50 the whole tournament as far as rating his performances go. Hazard even less. He showed only once when he showed up late to setup Orgni for the late winner.
Bob Parrington
17 Posted 08/07/2014 at 11:11:54
Very ordinary coach/manager. Why would you take Mirallas of and put Lukaku on when they have played together for a season? They've learned to link up and they've made a difference in the previous game. Honestly, some coach/managers have rocks in their heads and yet they earn big $$$ because the people who direct operations are fucking stupid.

Belgium – a team full of excellent players who under-performed as a team. Problem – Players or coach?

Andrew Ellams
18 Posted 08/07/2014 at 11:22:21
I don't think Belgium have he as many great players as people think. To me, only Hazard and Kompany come into that category. Witsel is good but not great; Courtois and Lukaku could be if they wanted to but are still young.

Fellaini, De Bruyne, Mertens... no thanks.

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