Pre-World Cup friendly results: De Bruyne blunder as Belgium slip to shock defeat to Salah's Egypt while Serbia run riot

Kevin De Bruyne BelgiumGetty Images

The 2022 World Cup is fast approaching and the national teams involved are hoping to cram in as much preparation as possible beforehand.

Perhaps most notably in the latest round of pre-tournament friendlies on Friday, Belgium fell to a worrying defeat at the hands of Egypt, with Kevin De Bruyne having a real moment to forget in that match. Cameroon also faced their own struggles but Serbia looked sharp in front of goal against Bahrain.

Here's how the action unfolded!

Friday, November 18

Cameroon 1-1 Panama

Rigobert Song picked a full-strength team as World Cup-bound Cameroon played their only warm-up match before their tournament begins next Thursday, against Switzerland in Group G.
This, however, was only enough to see his side pick up a draw with Panama – who will not be travelling to Qatar this winter.

In form Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting netted the opener in the 48th minute, but Michael Murillo equalised just seven minutes later. In the end, those two goals were enough to see the game end all square at 1-1.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Cameroon.Backpagepix.

Belgium 1-2 Egypt

There was a shock in Kuwait City as Belgium fell to defeat to Egypt, with midfielder De Bruyne making a big mistake in the build-up to the opening goal. Mostafa Mohamed took full advantage in the 33rd minute when the Manchester City man took a loose touch the ball, firing the Pharaohs into the lead.

Mohamed Salah then helped undo the Belgian defence with a superb pass as Mahmoud Trezeguet doubled Egypt's lead, which was enough to see them win despite Lois Openda pulling one back in the 76th minute.

Bahrain 1-5 Serbia

A few familiar faces got their names on the scoresheet for Serbia as they cruised to a comfortable win in preparation for Qatar 2022 this week.

Indeed, Dusan Tadic netted a double, while Dusan Vlahovic, Filip Djuricic and Luka Jovic all scored in the thrashing – which will do wonders for the team's confidence ahead of their exploits in Group G.

Abdullah Yusuf Hilal had actually scored a 15th-minute penalty to level the game at 1-1, but it turned out to be little more than a consolation for Bahrain.

Vlahovic SerbiaGetty

Thursday, November 17

Jordan 1 - 3 Spain

Luis Enrique fielded a young side against Jordan, with Barcelona starlets Ansu Fati and Gavi scoring in the 13th and 56th minutes to put Spain ahead. Fati's early goal, assisted by Marco Asensio, was a well-placed finish under the Jordanian goalkeeper.

Gavi doubled their lead just after half-time, guiding his shot from inside the box just out of reach of Al Fakhouri. With the game all but over, Enrique rang the changes, most notably bringing on 20-year-old Nico Williams.

The Athletic Club winger capped off a dominant Spanish display with another well-placed finish in the 84th minute. Jordan did get a goal back in the 92nd but it was nothing more than a consolation.

Nico Williams Spain 2022.Getty Images.

Morocco 3 - 0 Georgia

Hakim Ziyech scored the goal of the round with an insane half-pitch lob against Georgia, catching the goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili well off his line. The Chelsea winger has well and truly returned to the international fold after some time away.

Before Ziyech scored Morocco's second goal of the game, Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri opened the scoring just five minutes in, heading home after some poor Georgian defending. Morocco's third and final goal came from a penalty, Sofaine Boufal cooly tucking the spot-kick away.

Ghana 2 - 0 Switzerland

Switzerland will be disappointed with the result but take nothing away from Ghana, this victory was fully deserved. Both sides were evenly matched in the first half, with neither team able to create many chances.

The second half looked like much of the same up until the 70th minute. Southampton centre-back Mohammed Salisu scored a header following some sloppy Swiss defending from a corner.

22-year-old striker Antoine Semenyo then scored his first international goal, volleying home after an impressive run from winger Kamaldeen Sulemana. This young Ghana side could be one to watch.

Japan 1 - 2 Canada

Japan toook the lead in the 9th minute through a tidy finish from Yuki Soma.

Canada equalised in the 21st minute, Steven Vitoria capitalising on some poor defending, slotting home from close range after a corner. The upstart nation then got the win in added time, Lucas Cavallini converting from the penalty spot in the 95th minute.

Portugal 4 - 0 Nigeria

Manchester United's other Portuguese star, Bruno Fernandes starred as Portugal easily swept aside Nigeria. Fernandes scored a brace, his first an easy finish from seven yards out after some impressive play by Joao Felix and his second from a penalty.

Portugal's domination continued into the second half until Diogo Dalot conceded a penalty in the 79th minute. Luckily for the full-back, it was a tame effort from Emmanuel Dennis that was easily saved by Rui Patricio.

The penalty seemed to be a shot in the arm for Portugal as there minutes later they were 4-0 up. The third was scored by Goncalo Ramos and the fourth by Joao Mario.

Bruno Fernandes Portugal 2022Getty Images

Wednesday, November 16

Saudi Arabia 0-1 Croatia

Croatia and Saudi Arabia warmed up for the World Cup with a closely-fought contest that saw former Leicester City forward Andrej Kramaric score the winner.

It could have quite easily been an entirely different result, however, with the Saudis having registered almost double the amount of shots (13 to seven), with Kramaric's winner not arriving until the 82nd minute.

UAE 0-5 Argentina

In this sort of form, Argentina look like the team to beat in Qatar. Lionel Messi is clearly ready to make a big impact in what is set to be his last World Cup, with the PSG superstar scoring a fabulous goal - his country's fourth on the night - as he smashed into the far corner of the net with his right foot.

The game was already over by that point, however, with Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez having opened the scoring after 17 minutes before Angel Di Maria got in on the act with two goals of how own. It was then Messi's time to shine as he surged into the box and arrowed a shot past goalkeeper Khalid Eisa. And there was still plenty of time for Joaquin Correa to make it five on the hour mark to round off a comprehensive win ahead of their World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia on November 22.

Oman 0-1 Germany

It wasn't ideal World Cup preparation for Germany, meanwhile. Hansi Flick's men only managed a 1-0 victory over Oman, courtesy of an 80th-minute goal from Niclas Fullkrug. The Werder Bremen striker, who was making his debut for his country, received the ball from Kai Havertz in the centre of the box and slotted home to score his first international goal.

Germany had over 70% of the possession, as expected, but will be frustrated that they didn't rack up a bigger scoreline. Still, Flick will be pleased that there doesn't appear to be any injury issues and he'll still be confident his side will get a positive result in their first World Cup fixture against Japan on November 23.

Niklas Fullkrug GermanyGetty Images

Poland 1-0 Chile

Poland claimed a win in their pre-World Cup friendly clash with Chile as Krzysztof Piatek netted the winner in the 85th minute in a game that saw the South American side enjoy near total domination.

Indeed, Czesław Michniewicz's side registered just 26% possession although decided against picking Robert Lewandowski, allowing the Barcelona striker to rest up before their opening game in Qatar against Mexico, scheduled for November 22.

Poland ChileGetty Images

Mexico 1-2 Sweden

Does this result spell trouble for Mexico ahead of the World Cup? It certainly wasn't ideal preparation for El Tri as they were edged out by Sweden, despite dominating possession and registering almost double the amount of shots than their opponents, albeit most of them were from outside the box.

They were level at one stage here, as Alexis Vega cancelled out Marcus Rohden's opener, but Wolfsburg midfielder Mattias Svanberg's goal late on meant that it would be defeat for Mexico, who will need vast improvement in their first World Cup clash against Poland on November 22.

Which African team will go furthest in the World Cup?

25626 Votes

Thanks for voting.

Results will be shared soon.

Which African team will go furthest in the World Cup?

  • 12013Senegal
  • 1925Cameroon
  • 4716Ghana
  • 6211Morocco
  • 761Tunisia
25626 Votes