WALES suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium on Thursday night (Sept 22) as their hopes of staying in Group A of the Nations League took a blow.
Belgium dominated for large parts of the first half with Kevin De Bruyne instrumental in much of the play but Wales hit back in the second half.
An early second half goal from Kieffer Moore wasn’t enough as Belgium held on for victory.
It was Kevin De Bruyne who gave Belgium the lead after ten minutes and he had another shot minutes later but saw that effort go over.
There was then a chance for Michy Batshuayi as the ball dropped for him in the box but he blazed a shot high and wide.
De Bruyne was involved again in the 26th minute as he saw a shot fly onto the post. Wayne Hennessey then made a great save to deny Yannick Carrasco on the rebound. The offside flag was raised so it wouldn’t have counted had it gone in.
Dan James then had a chance for Wales but he saw his shot blocked.
A minute later it was Belgium’s turn to attack as Eden Hazard cut in from the left but he curled his shot wide.
Ten minutes before the break Wales won a corner which Dan James floated in but the ball was gathered by Thibaut Courtois.
Wales’ task then got a little harder as De Bruyne crossed into the box for Batshuayi who had an easy tap-in to make it 2-0 to the hosts.
With six minutes to go until the break Wales were given a free kick. Joe Rodon headed back towards goal but his effort was cleared and the headed rebound from Ethan Ampadu was well saved by Courtois.
There was another chance for De Bruyne but his shot was deflected wide by the bottom of Wayne Hennessey’s boot.
The visitors won a corner as half time loomed. It fell to the back of the box for Neco Williams but he saw his shot deflect off team mate Rhys Norrington-Davies.
It meant Wales would face an uphull battle in the second half if they were to get something from the game.
Four minutes into the second half Wales had a route back into the game. Johnson crossed from the right and Kieffer Moore rose highest to power a header home.
Gareth Bale was brought on with half an hour to go and he may have scored but for an intervention from a Belgian defender.
Some good play from Wales then saw them win a corner but Belgium were able to clear.
With thirteen minutes to go, Belgium were given a penalty as Joe Morrell was adjudged to have fouled. Replays showed though that he did get the ball and after consulting the VAR screen the referee overturned his decision.
There was a chance for Brennan Johnson with six minutes to go but he shot wide after being set up by Connor Roberts.
Bale then set up Neco Williams but he saw his curling effort saved by the Belgian keeper. Moments later, Johnson sent a cross into the box but no one could get on the end of it.
There were six minutes added on and in the third of those Belgian boss Roberto Martinez was shown a red card as he looked to delay the game.
Wales searched for a late equaliser but they were unable to find it as Belgium hung on for the win.