Belgium coach Roberto Martinez seems puzzled as to why his side have been so poor in their opening two matches of the World Cup, but put Sunday’s surprise 2-0 loss to Morocco down to a fear of losing and not enough quality in their attack.
Belgium stumbled past Canada 1-0 in their Group F opener and were below par again as they slipped to defeat against a spirited Moroccan side roared on by the majority of the 43,000 fans in the Al Thumama Stadium, a result that has put their qualification for the next stage in doubt.
Talisman Kevin De Bruyne had a poor game again and captain Eden Hazard was largely ineffective. Both are players the team usually relies on heavily but Martinez refused to blame individuals.
“We haven’t been the best Belgium at this World Cup yet,” he admitted. “Today I thought we played with the fear of losing. Without the ball we still work for each other but when we have the ball, we don’t stand out, we are not ourselves. We have to work on that.
“We have to stay together now and become stronger. I know this group, we will be ready for Croatia (on Thursday).”
Belgium World Cup 2022 squad
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Wout Faes, Arthur Theate, Zeno Debast, Thomas Meunier, Timothy Castagne
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Axel Witsel, Hans Vanaken, Leander Dendoncker, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard
Forwards: Eden Hazard, Charles De Ketelaere, Leandro Trossard, Dries Mertens, Jeremy Doku, Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Lois Openda
Who is their best player?
Belgium’s stars include Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.
De Bruyne was awarded the player of the match accolade against Canada, but our readers rated goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as Belgium’s best player during the game.
What are Belgium’s results and fixtures?
November 23: Belgium 1 Canada 0
November 27: Belgium 0 Morocco 2
December 1: Croatia vs Belgium
What is Belgium’s World Cup record?
Belgium’s best World Cup finish came in the last edition of the tournament. They secured third place at Russia 2018 after beating England in the play-off, bettering their previous highest finish of fourth in 1986. Belgium first qualified for the tournament in 1930 and will compete in it for the 14th time this winter.
Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales
Lukaku to claim the Golden Boot? Find the latest top scorer odds here
Belgium are currently a best price of 25/1 to win World Cup 2022.