Preview - Belgium vs Costa Rica 12 June 18

Started by Harry85, Jun 11, 2018, 02:45 AM

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Harry85

International Friendly
Belgium vs Costa Rica
Tuesday, June 12th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium:  Heysel Stadium

Belgium:
Last five matches form: D W W D W
Average goals per match:  4.30
Average goals against per match: 0.60
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (34)

Costa Rica:
Last five matches form: L W L W L
Average goals per match: 1.56
Average goals against per match: 0.69
Top Scorer: Bryan Ruiz (23)

Many people's idea of one of the most likely winners of this years World Cup complete their preparations as World ranked number 3, Belgium, welcome Costa Rica to Brussels.

These sides have met just the once in the past with Belgium coming out on top 1-0 in a friendly back in 2002.

Already unbeaten in their past 18, Belgium will head into the finals on one of the best runs of any side in the competition should they make it through this one unscathed.

Five clean sheets in their past six games certainly augurs well for a team who always look likely to get amongst the goals with the likes of Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in the line-up.

Costa Rica had a fine run to the quarter finals in Brazil four years ago, but recent results suggest they may well struggle to repeat the feat in Russia. Of the six warm up friendlies they have played to date, they have lost four, to Spain, Hungary, Tunisia and England, with their only wins coming against weakened Northern Ireland and Scotland outfits.

Having seen World Cup group opponents England post a relatively comfortable 2-0 success against Costa Rica last week, Belgium will no doubt be keen to achieve at least as good a result. Roberto Martinez's men were comfortable 3-0 winners against Egypt in their last game and a repeat of that score-line wouldn't be too surprising.



Prediction: Belgium 3 - 0 Costa Rica

Harry85

Half time: 2 - 1
Full time: 4 - 1
Shots: 18 - 2
Shots on target: 10 - 1
Corner Kicks: 9 - 1
Possession: 63% - 37%

Just the one booking in this one with referee Ovidiu Haţegan issuing the yellow card to Costa Rica's Giancarlo González.

A thoroughly convincing display from Roberto Martinez's Belgium side. Dominating possession, corners, territory, total shots and shots on target, they put Costa Rica to the sword and head into the World Cup Finals on a high and looking like having a chance of justifying the hype this time.

It was however Costa Rica who took the lead slightly against the run of play in the 24th minute. When a long ball was sent into the Belgium box, Jan Vertonghen's headed clearance dropped kindly for Bryan Ruiz on the edge of the area. Ruiz finishing smartly first time on the volley into the bottom right corner.

Belgium's equaliser came in the 31st minute. Eden Hazard working his magic in the box but mishitting his strike. Fortunately for Belgium though the ball fell perfectly for Dries Mertens to tap in at the far post.

Belgium were all over Costa Rica by this stage with the offside flag coming to the rescue of the Central American side on a number of occasions. There was no flag to save them in the 42nd minute though. Mertens cutting in from the right and picking out Romelu Lukaku with a ball into the area. Excellent finish on the volley from the front man, finding the top corner from around 7 yards. 2-1 at the break.

It didn't take long for the Belgians to pick up where they left off in the first half. Nacer Chadli's excellent dinked cross from the right by-line finding Lukaku who rose highest to power a header into the top left corner.

Probably the best goal of the bunch came in the 64th minute. Hazard once again causing absolute chaos when running at the Costa Rica defence before playing in Lukaku in the left side of the area. Unselfish play from the Manchester United man this time to play the ball across goal for substitute Michy Batshuayi to sweep home. 4-1 final score.



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