Belgium 3 - 1 Bosnia-HerzegovinaBelgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina went head-to-head in Euro2016 qualifying this evening, with Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Muhamed Besic in their respective starting line-ups.
Both players enjoyed decent displays and Lukaku twice went close to scoring as the home team ran out 3-1 winners to enhance their prospects of qualifying for next year's Finals.
The Blues' other Red Devil, Kevin Mirallas, was an unused substitute in an important Group B game between two countries separated by just three points at the start of play.
Lukaku was only named as a substitute when Christian Benteke was preferred up front by Marc Wimots and Belgium lost 1-0 to Wales in Cardiff in June. Both strikers were heavily criticised in the wake of that defeat but Lukaku got the chance to stake his claim for the first-choice slot with a start tonight in Brussels.
Besic's own Dragons needed a win to keep their qualification hopes alive as they sat in fifth place in the six-team group coming into the evening. They drew with Belgium 1-1 last October, a game in which Lukaku played less than an hour while Besic played the full 90 minutes.
Belgium established an early pattern of possession without threatening and it was Bosnia who shocked their hosts after just 11 minutes when Edin Dzeko's header looped over Thibault Coutois.
Former Everton man Marouane Fellaini equalised 10 minutes later, though, when he powered home a corner and Lukaku went very close to putting Belgium ahead but he missed the near post with a downward header. He then dropped a header just over from a Kevin de Bruyne corner as the home side pushed for a second before half time.
It was De Bruyne who got that crucial second goal for Belgium with a long-range shot that surprised Asmir Begovic two minutes before half time.
Bosnia pressed for an equaliser in an even second half but when Lukaku sprung the offside trap from De Bruyne's smart pass, the Everton man was foiled by Begovic who came off his line quickly to block the striker's attempt to tuck it under the goalkeeper's body with 18 minutes to go.
Belgium increased their lead shortly afterwards, however, when Eden Hazard's trademark run across the box was halted by a clumsy trip and the Chelsea midfielder slotted home the resulting penalty.
Lukaku came off in the closing stages after being hammered by a shot from close range that took the wind out him and he was replaced by Divock Origi.
Reader Comments (14)
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1 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:56:07
2 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:02:13
3 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:20:51
Would be great to see Besic integrated properly as Gareth "The Orchestrator" Barry's successor by the last quarter of this campaign.
4 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:53:40
5 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:26:27
Let's hope not. And that all our internationals return safe and sound. We don't need the squad stretched this early in the season.
6 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:33:10
7 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:57:41
9 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:32:27
Mourinho wouldn't have Besic in the DM position. Too small. I know Cattermole and Tiotte do a decent job but the big guys like Matic, Bousquet, Wanyama and Carrick seem to be popular these days. Xavi Alonso is somewhere inbetween but his instant passing in the recent Bayern / Leverkusen game had Guardiola drooling.
Personally, I hope Besic gets a chance.
10 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:08:33
Besic was all over the pitch and apart from losing possession (to Fellaini) just outside their box on a dribble was superb, he is match-fit and needs to start for us every game.
11 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:09:21
"he is matchfit and needs to start for us every game." Agreed wholeheartedly.
It's about time this young whippersnapper started games from the off. Look at the years Man Utd dominated the Prem league. Who was it that dominated mid field? Keano is who.
Besic is this man. He is our piece of steel in MF.
I say get rid of Barry and play him every game,
He's our Roy Keane.
12 Posted 05/09/2015 at 14:19:00
13 Posted 05/09/2015 at 20:22:49
14 Posted 06/09/2015 at 16:53:46
Barry has outperformed McCarthy this season in my opinion so it should be Jimmy Mac that makes way. Macca has had his new improved contract and put last season's hamstring troubles behind him, so I expect a lot more from a player rated by the media at around 㿀M!
15 Posted 06/09/2015 at 17:07:21
I remain open minded & hope he can prove me wrong.
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