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Belgium 2-1 Wales: Still bored with Kevin? De Bruyne inspires the Belgians to beat Robert Page’s team

Kevin De Bruyne scored one goal and set up the other to put Belgium Wales away 2-1 in Brussels

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Belgium 2-1 Wales: Still bored with Kevin? De Bruyne inspires the Belgians to beat Robert Page’s team with a goal and a decisive pass against the Nations League … before Kiefer Moore pulled the difference

  • Kevin De Bruyne was bored playing Wales, but he scored one goal and created another
  • Michy Batshuayi got one as the dominant host outwitted Wales
  • Kiefer Moore scored a tricky header at the start of the second half
  • Wales must beat Poland comfortably at home on Sunday to avoid relegation

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After Kevin De Bruyne said he was bored of playing Wells too much, Rob Page’s guys decided to let him have some fun.

De Bruyne was sensational, scoring the first goal and setting up Michy Batshuayi’s second, but the Manchester City star – who has complained about regularly facing the same team – had all the space he needed to run the game in the first half. Kiefer Moore responded to Wales early in an improved display in the second half, with Gareth Bale entering in the 64th minute. Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was sent off in injury time, apparently for protest, leaving assistant Thierry Henry to bark orders from the touchline for the closing stages .

The result left Wales needing to beat Poland on Sunday, the last game before the World Cup, to make sure they stay in the A Nations League. Meanwhile, Belgium looked great in attack, but they may still be too fragile in defense to win in Qatar.

Kevin De Bruyne scored one goal and set up the other to put Belgium Wales away 2-1 in Brussels

It was the ninth time these nations had met in the past decade, Wales was without Ben Davies, Joe Allen, Aaron Ramsey and Harry Wilson, Bale was also on the bench, and the bench was suffering.

The hosts were already moving smoothly when De Bruyne finished a fluent move to put them ahead. Thomas Meunier put Batshuayi away and as the ball rolled to the edge of the box, De Bruyne directed it across Wayne Hennessy’s palm.

After that, it was all Belgium. Yuri Tillmans put a good chance in sight and De Bruyne ran to falter at the crucial moment, before nearly doubling the lead from the same spot but hitting the post.

Seven minutes before the break, the hosts broke again when Meunier released De Bruyne to send a perfectly weighted cross to the far post where Batshuayi could not fault.

Michy Batshuayi scored the second goal as the dominant host benefited from the first half

Michy Batshuayi scored the second goal as the dominant host benefited from the first half

No matter how hard they struggle, this Wales side has an incredible ability to stay in matches. Moments after the second goal, Axel Witsel hit Joe Rodon’s header and Thibaut Courtois saved his first goal of the night to banish a follow-up by Ethan Ampadu.

Then Wales slipped his goal five minutes after the end of the first half when Brennan Johnson ran into Belgian territory and found a perfect cross for Moore to head the ball at the far post.

Bale was served a little over an hour later and was run into the middle of the front three, but Belgium thought they got a penalty in the final minutes when De Bruyne stumbled under Joe Morell’s challenge but the substitute was held up by VAR. Johnson continued to test veteran Belgian player Jan Vertonghen and also fired wide with five minutes remaining.

Kiefer Moore scored the header that gave Wales hope, but it was only consolation that day

Kiefer Moore scored the header that gave Wales hope, but it was only consolation that day

Read how Sportsmail’s SAMUEL DRAPER covered Thursday’s event in the Belgium-Wales Nations League match live blog.

Tom Columbus reviews

Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois 6 Debast 6.5, Alderweireld 6, Vertonghen 5; Meunier 7, Tielemans 6.5 (Vanaken 76), Witsel 7, Carrasco 7.5 (Mertens 65, 6); De Bruyne 9 (De Ketelaere 90), Hazard 8 (Trossard 65, 6); Patchway 6 (openers 65, 6).

Submarines not in use: Mignolet, Castells, Theatre, Onana, Dendoncker, Castin, Sailmakers.

scorers: De Bruyne 11, Batshuayi 38

boss: Roberto Martinez 7

Wales (3-4-2-1): Hennessy 6.5, Mifam 5.5, Rodon 6, Norrington Davis 5.5 (T Roberts 85); C. Roberts 6, Ampadu 6, Smith 4.5 (Murell 64, 6), N. Williams 6; Johnson 7.5, James 6; Moore 6.5 (Bell 64, 6).

Submarines not in use: Ward, King, Gunther, Kabango, Levitt, J. Williams, M. Harris, Thomas, L. Harris.

scorers: Moore 50

Reservation: Mifam, Ampadu

boss: Rob 6 . page

Rule: Ali Blabeek 6