Football Features

Belgium held 1-1 by Greece in what could be a preview of their Hazardous future

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:08, 3 June 2021

In a lively night of football, Belgium were held 1-1 by Greece in a pre-Euro 2020 friendly.

For much of the first hour, the match looked like it was going to be the crowning of Yannick Carrasco as Belgium’s new attacking talisman. With Eden Hazard still not ready to play and Kevin De Bruyne nursing a broken face following the Champions League final, the Red Devils were set to head into the tournament with neither star man in even remotely good form.

Obviously star striker Romelu Lukaku is the man of the moment having just led Inter to win Serie A, but he’s a striker that relies on service and the icons who so often provide that service are quite simply not going to be at their best until the knockout round at least and even then who knows. There’s a very real possibility they never see De Bruyne or Eden Hazard in good form this summer.

But is that a problem? Against a Greek side that hadn’t lost in seven, and missing several first-teamers of their own, Belgium did not look like a side missing any star creative players. Goalscoring grit perhaps, but then it’s hard to measure that in friendlies.

Yannick Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard more than took control of the game in attack, however. Playing with real energy as they carried the ball at the Greek back-line and combined nicely with each other.

They created the opening goal together as Hazard picked up a sloppy square ball, charged at the Belgium box and slipped a ball wide to Carrasco. The winger moved calmly towards the loose ball with all the confidence and assurance of a man who has just won La Liga and then effortlessly bent his left-foot around the ball and clipped it back into Hazard who tapped home.

18+ only. New customers only. First single & e/w bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 4 x £10 bet token. Free bet stakes not included in returns, Free bets for horse racing & football only. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org.

18+ only. New customers only. UK only. Deposit £20 to receive free bets of £40. Free bets credited as four equal free bets of £10 each. All free bets unlocked when a total of £20 in of sports bets are placed and settled within qualifying period of 7 days. Minimum deposit amount is £20. Promotion T&Cs apply. Standard T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. Max 1 free £5 bet per customer. Applies to all pre match Bet Builder bets on each of England’s Euro 2020 group games only. Min 2+ legs. Must have previously deposited with a debit card, Apple Pay or Paysafe to avail of the offer. Excludes shop bets. T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18_ only. New members. £10 min bet on sportsbook at 1.5 min odds placed and settled before kick-off of England v Scotland on 18/06. 2x £10 Free Bet Tokens, accept within 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance. Extra £5 Free Bet Token per England goal against Scotland valid for 7 days. Click here for Rules. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org.

Bet £20 and get £40 in free bets T&Cs apply

18+ only. New customers only. UK only. Deposit £20 to receive free bets of £40. Free bets credited as four equal free bets of £10 each. All free bets unlocked when a total of £20 in of sports bets are placed and settled within qualifying period of 7 days. Minimum deposit amount is £20. Promotion T&Cs apply. Standard T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. T&Cs apply.

Join Here
Euro 2020: Up to £100 in bet credits T&Cs apply

18+ only. New customers only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
£30 in free bets when you place your first £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only • New customer only • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & full T&Cs apply • BeGambleAware •

18+ only. T&Cs apply.

Join Here

So that was that, right? Those two were the success story of the game as Belgium coast to a comfortable victory, right? Wrong.

Carrasco was definitely brilliant on the night, comfortably taking the role of talisman, but it wasn’t all one-way traffic. In fact without the fear being inflicted by the likes of De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, Greece were ready to counter on Belgium or even take the ball and work it up the field.

In fact the first chance of the game fell to the Greeks, as a wayward back-pass from Toby Alderweireld had Giorgios Masouras running clean through on goal only for Simon Mignolet to pull off a brilliant 1-v-1 stop.

And then as the second-half wore on, Greece got more and more into the game. They showed great confidence running at the sides of the Belgium defence, where Toby Alderweireld and Jason Denayer really seemed to struggle without the protection afforded them by Axel Witsel and the reputation of their star attackers.

Greece’s equaliser was a flukey effort where Georgios Tzavelllas stabbed home following Kiriakos Papadopoulos’ header rebounding off the post. But the goal itself was almost incidental, the fact is that Greece more than engaged Belgium in an open match. They were not overawed and even though the Red Devils had rested players, you would have expected them to dispatch Greece with confidence?

Instead they missed chance after chance and then wilted when Greece applied a modicum of pressure. Even if you disregard their no. 10’s impending return, Belgium’s future is looking Hazardous, and not necessarily in a good way.

✕︎

Get the Best offers for EURO 2020

A valid email is required.

Invalid e-mail.

Yes I am over 18.
Yes, I would like to receive email updates on exciting offers from squawka.com. For more info on how we and our partners process your data, see Privacy and Cookie Policies.

*This offer is not valid for residents of Great Britain.*By subscribing you are confirming that you are over 18 years of age.

*All emails include an unsubcrbe link, where you can opt out any time. *Please see our privacy and cookies policy..

x

Newsletter error