Belgium vs Wales – World Cup Qualifier: Live score and updates
LIVE: Belgium vs Wales – visitors take shock lead through Harry Wilson before world No 1 side fire back through Kevin De Bruyne and Thorgan Hazard… with Ireland in front in Serbia
- Wales have strong recent record against Belgium but face difficult test
- They are without boss Ryan Giggs, who is under investigation for alleged assault
- Romelu Lukaku has been allowed to join up with team-mates and is available
- France take on Ukraine while Serbia meet Ireland in pick of other fixtures
- Latest World Cup 2022 news, including fixtures and results
Wales begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against the world’s No 1-ranked side.
Gareth Bale and Co have a strong recent record against Belgium, unbeaten in their last four against the Red Devils, but it will take a huge effort to make that five.
Elsewhere, France host Ukraine and Serbia take on the Republic of Ireland in the pick of the other qualifiers across Europe.
Follow Sportsmail’s Will Griffee for live World Cup Qualifier coverage of Belgium vs Wales, including scoreline, lineups and build-up, plus goal updates from other games.
This would be another cruel blow. Wilson has been Wales’ best player, not just with the goal but with his hold up play. It looks like he’ll try to battle on after going down in a heap.
33 mins: Wales may have bloodied the nose of the Belgians with that early goal but the world No 1 side have fought back with a rapid double to leave their visitors tottering. They have real chances on the counter but the more they expose themselves, the more space there is for De Bruyne and Co to exploit.
29 mins: Eden might be injured but his brother is doing the business, scoring his fifth international goal. Meunier floats a teasing cross and Roberts loses his footing at the crucial moment, allowing Hazard an easy header to take the lead.
24 mins: The goals are flying in around Europe and De Bruyne has produced a De Bruyne special to pull Belgium level in Leveun. He cuts inside and pings a shot off his right foot. It bounces before Danny Ward but the keeper has no chance really as it nestles into the corner. Wales will think they haven’t done a lot wrong there.
Antoine Griezmann has broken the deadlock for the world champions, who will fully expect to go on and win handsomely tonight.
17 mins: A solid response for Belgium but Wales have numbers back and are defending valiantly. Lukaku holds the ball up well and it is worked wide, fed in and bounces kindly for Tielemans, who has his shot deflected wide. De Bruyne then puts one on a plate for Lukaku who should probably have pulled Belgium level.
This is an outrageous team goal. A slick counter attack finds Gareth Bale with zippy passing up to the edge of the box. He then feeds the ball through to Harry Wilson who takes a perfect first touch and finishes into the far corner. First touch passing and lovely combinations, they looked like the No 1 side in the world there and the Belgians are shell-shocked!
This does not look good for Joe Allen. He’s played 18 games for Stoke since coming back from an Achilles injury but has pulled up here with a hamstring problem. He’s such an important player for his country. Morrell is coming on
2 mins: There are rays of light for Wales. Belgium have only kept two clean sheets in 10 so you’d imagine the visitors will have their chances. It is the hosts with all the early possession though and Wales keeping nicely in their shape.
National anthems belted out in front of an empty stadium, all part of the rich post apocalyptic tapestry of international football these days.
Not in a candlelight and rose petals kind of way, but a Den Dreef stadium, Leuven, capacity 10,000 type feel. Leuven is an old university city in Belgium and home to Anheuser-Busch – the world’s largest beer brewer (thank you wikipedia).
Ryan Giggs will continue to be absent for Wales and is going to miss at least the next three games as he remains under investigation for an alleged assault. Robert Page leads the side, both he and skipper Bale are getting used to their surroundings in Leuven.
A first international hattrick for Yilmaz has seen Turkey off to a flier at the expense of Holland. The Dutch fought back from 3-0 down to 3-2 but come away with nothing.
Bale has shown flashes of his old self for Spurs this season but usually turns it on in international colours. He’ll need to tonight but has plenty of promising talent around him and the reassuring presence of Joe Allen back in the line-up.
That is a frightening looking Belgium team though and it would be no surprise at all to see Roberto Martinez’s men at the business end of the Euros this summer.
World Cup qualifiers? Already? Where has the time gone… We have a smattering of tasty fixtures to begin the journey to Qatar (decent band name?) but tonight’s main focus is on Belgium vs Wales. Red Devils vs Dragons, a fiery encounter. Team news on the way.
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