Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Belgium cruise past Egypt to settle FIFA World Cup 2018 nerves

Roberto Martinez Roberto Martinez took charge of Belgium in 2016
Frederick Owens | 09 June, 2018, 05:00

"If we want to go far in the World Cup, we'll have to be as solid as we were tonight and keep our energy".

However, Egypt are hopeful their talisman will recover in time to play a part in Russian Federation.

Eden Hazard had Mo Salah in his thoughts after inspiring Belgium to a convincing friendly victory over Egypt.

The attacker was injured during last month's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid and has since been a doubt for the Russian Federation tournament.

"I wish Salah the best and hope he returns", Hazard told ON Sport, as per Goal.

Salah missed out on Egypt's final World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday night.

Without Salah, Egypt lacked a cutting edge in attack, while Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany watched from the stands after suffering a groin injury during Belgium's goalless draw with Portugal on Saturday. Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in a testing Group D in Russian Federation, with their World Cup opener against Croatia in Kaliningrad on Saturday, June 16. Their playing style is close to that of Tunisia. "So any team is going to miss the goal scoring threat of Mo Salah".

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Belgium led 2-0 at half-time thanks to Lukaku and Hazard following a comfortable opening 45 minutes against Egypt.

Hazard said, "Salah is a friend and I wish he will recover before the World Cup".

Belgium face Costa Rica in their next friendly on Monday, before their World Cup opener against Panama on June 18.

Belgium added a third in second-half stoppage time with Batshuayi setting up Fellaini for an easy finish from six yards out to reach the final scoreline.

"I don't think our performance was ideal, far from it", said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

"In this stage of his recovery it is not just treatment for his shoulder, but we also need to improve his stamina and fitness level because the injury has prevented him to train like normal".

The 27-year-old is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "We know what we are".

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