Belgian fans have been filmed rampaging through the streets of Brussels in anger after Sunday’s dismal 2-0 World Cup loss to Morocco. Violent riots resulted in a car being crushed and overturned and fireworks set off after Roberto Martínez’s team were relegated in Group F with another poor performance.
Worrying scenes have emerged from Belgium’s capital, with angry supporters yelling, destroying a red car and setting off fireworks in the daylight by the hundreds. The world No. 2-ranked team was subpar again at the 2022 World Cup, but this time they weren’t far behind when their African opponents shot each other at Al-Thumama Stadium.
Morocco thought they had taken the lead on the brink of halftime with a Hakim Ziyech free-kick. However, Roman Saiss was deemed to be in an offside position and in Thibaut Courtois’ line of sight when the Chelsea winger turned the ball over.
But Walid Regragui’s men were not frustrated by that disappointment. Courtois produced a howl on 73 minutes to allow former Huddersfield Town midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri’s shot past him at the near post. And after Belgium failed to respond, despite Romelu Lukaku’s return to the pitch with 10 minutes remaining, Zakaria Aboukhlal sealed victory in stoppage time.
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Even though Belgium won their first match against Canada 1-0, they garnered massive criticism for their performance. Big questions have been raised about the aging of Martinez’s squad, with many key players potentially outperformed in their prime.
And Kevin De Bruyne didn’t help stoke doubts about the nation’s hopes in Qatar, admitting they had “no chance” of lifting the World Cup trophy on December 18. He said: “There’s no chance, we’re too old. I think our chance was in 2018. We have a good team, but it’s getting old. We lost some key players. We have some good new players coming in, but they’re not at the level of other players. they were in 2018. I see us more as strangers.”
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With their opening day draw with Croatia and their win over Belgium, Morocco sits atop Group F on four points, with Canada playing last. The Red Devils, with three points, will drop to third if Croatia beat Canada tonight and face Zlatko Dalic in the round of 16 next week.
But as shocking Snapchat clips from Brussels emerge, it’s clear that discontent is plaguing Belgium’s fanbase and the team. And with the 2022 World Cup likely to be the last tournament to feature most of the nation’s ‘Golden Age’, their MD3 clash with Croatia will carry a significant now-or-never feel.
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