Sports Desk, Nov 18 (EFE).- Highly rated Belgium lost 2-1 to Egypt on Friday in the Red Devils’ last international friendly ahead of World Cup 2022 in Qatar, which gets under way on Nov. 20.
The No. 2 side in the world, according to the FIFA rankings, were bested by an Egyptian team that fell short of qualifying for the quadrennial championship.
The Belgians dominated possession in the contest at Kuwait City’s Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, yet the Pharaohs put five shots on target to just two for the Red Devils.
Egypt took the lead in the 33rd minute when a giveaway by Kevin de Bruyne opened the door for Mostafa Mohamed to beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from close range.
Roberto Martinez’s men went down 2-0 in the first minute of the second half, conceding to Trezeguet, who benefited from a great pass by Mohamed Salah.
Yannick Carrasco was Belgium’s most effective player, assisting on Lois Openda’s goal in the 76th minute and nearly producing an equalizer a few minutes later.
But the Egyptians remained solid at the back and the last chance of the match fell to Salah.
Belgium, who finished third at World Cup 2018 in Russia, will make their debut in the 2022 competition next Wednesday against Canada.
The Red Devils will go to play Morocco on Nov. 27 and wrap up the group stage on Dec. 1 with a game against 2018 runners-up Croatia.
The squad’s top striker, Romelu Lukaku, is less than 100 percent physically and team captain Eden Hazard has not had enough playing time this season with Real Madrid to even approach his best form.