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WC Qualification Europe

  • 16 October 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade Roi Baudouin, Bruxelles (Brussel)
  • Referee: T. Hagen
  • • Attendance: 44132

Belgium 2-0 Scotland: Benteke & Kompany pile the pressure on Levein

Belgium 2-0 Scotland: Benteke & Kompany pile the pressure on Levein

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Under pressure Scotland boss Craig Levein sees his side fail to claim full points for the fourth game in a row as Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany fire Belgium to victory

Second half strikes from Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany put another nail in Scotland’s World Cup chances as Belgium claimed a comfortable victory.

The defeat will see the pressure intensify on under pressure boss Craig Levein after his side failed to win any of their first four games.

Belgium had such strength in depth that they were able to drop Chelsea star Eden Hazard, while the visitors were forced to bring in Wigan midfielder James McArthur in place of the injured Scott Brown.

The hosts almost took the lead after a slack clearance by Gary Caldwell allowed Dries Mertens a sight at Allan McGregor’s goal, but the keeper made two superb stops to deny the midfielder.

The home side continued to pepper McGregor’s goal as Nacer Chadli had a couple of efforts at goal, while Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen also tried his luck, but neither could find a way past the stopper.

Midway through the half Scotland had their first opportunity as Shaun Maloney curled a superb free kick from 35 yards after Kris Commons had been hauled down, but Thibaut Courtois managed to palm the ball away.

The flood of chances going towards the Scotland goal continued as Chadli had another attempt with a curling shot, then Mousa Dembele had a long range effort and then Mertens had a chance to put the hosts ahead after a cross from the right by Kevin De Bruyne, but the visiting defence managed to hold.

The last chance of the half came the Scots way as Commons attempted a free kick from just outside the box, but Belgian stopper Courtois stretched out to divert the ball away yet again.

Marc Wilmots side should have taken the lead just after the interval as a cross from Toby Alderweireld was headed towards goal by Benteke, but the Aston Villa striker’s effort went over the bar.

Despite having all the possession, Scotland continued to have the odd chance, as both Steven Fletcher and substitute Jamie Mackie attempted to get onto a cross from the left wing, but Vertonghen managed to hook the ball away for a corner to the visitors.

With the home fans getting frustrated, Belgium had yet another set of chances, with Hazard trying his luck with a long range free kick and De Bryune also forcing McGregor into making a save with an effort from a similar range.

The breakthrough came moments later as De Bryune crossed from the left wing after a short corner, to the back post for Benteke to rise above both Danny Fox and Christophe Berra and bullet his header into the back of the net.

It didn’t take long for Belgium to add to their advantage as skipper Kompany received the ball on the edge of the area and twisted and turned James McArthur, before rifling the ball past the helpless McGregor to double the lead.

The home side comfortably saw out the rest of the game as the pressure continues to mount on Craig Levein.