BRUSSELS (AP) – Belgium’s rebuilding seems to be properly on observe underneath Domenico Tedesco, even when Kevin De Bruyne shouldn’t be taking part in.
In his third match with the coach, the brand new coach despatched a hard-hitting group to face Austria in a qualifying match subsequent Saturday for subsequent yr’s European Championship. Though the competition between the undefeated groups in Group F resulted in a 1-1 draw, Belgium’s enthusiastic and decided mindset bodes properly.
Jeremy Doku, Dodi Lukbakio and Yannick Carrasco began alongside Romelu Lukaku, who took up the armband within the absence of the injured De Bruyne.
David Alaba celebrated his a hundredth shirt within the coronary heart of the Austrian defence, and was busy organizing all 4 defenses and intercepting Belgian passes because the hosts loved essentially the most possession.
Lukebakio impressed and performed shortly on the precise flank, Doku’s passes wreaked havoc on Austria’s defensive strains, Lukaku pressed defenders and scored the Belgian equalizer within the 61st minute.
Belgium deserved to win however a fantastic shot from Youri Tielemans in further time hit the crossbar.
“It is a pity that we did not rating the second aim,” Doku stated. “After we conceded, we gave up a bit, however as soon as we began taking part in once more we noticed we might create issues for them.”
Austria led in opposition to the run of play via Michael Gregoric’s first-half aim.
Austria is three factors forward of Belgium, who’ve one match in hand. Belgium subsequent travels to Estonia on Tuesday and Austria hosts Sweden.
Tedesco changed Roberto Martinez, who coached Belgium to 3rd place on the 2018 World Cup however had been unable to advance out of the group stage on the Qatar 2022 event.
Belgium was ranked primary by FIFA for 4 years throughout Martinez’s six-year tenure however by no means gained a significant event. A number of of the ‘golden technology’ of Belgians – Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, Toby Alderweireld and Simon Mignolet – have retired from worldwide responsibility following the current World Cup.
Austria performed within the second half and opened the scoring from a nook kick that fell to Gregoric. The striker, unmarked on the left facet of the field, fired a quick ball that did not look harmful however deflected off Uriel Mangala and beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Belgium continued to manage the ball with out discovering any benefit, exposing themselves to fast counter-attacks. His persistence was lastly rewarded when Lukaku discovered area between the 2 defenders outdoors the penalty space and unleashed an correct, low aim for his 73rd aim for Belgium.
Courtois then produced an excellent save response to disclaim Stefan Bosch’s highly effective effort.
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