World Cup worry for Martinez and Belgium as Kompany picks up knock

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BRUNO FAHY
The Manchester City defender will have scans to determine how serious the injury he picked up against Portugal is

Vincent Kompany's fitness is a worry for Roberto Martinez after the defender limped off early in the second half of a pre-World Cup friendly.

With Martinez only having two days left to name his final 23-man squad for Russia, Kompany appeared to pull a muscle while stretching to make a tackle during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Portugal in Brussels.

The Manchester City captain has been increasingly injury prone in the latter years of his career and his place in the final World Cup squad may now be in doubt.

Martinez, though, is prepared to give Kompany time to prove his fitness ahead of naming his squad before Monday's deadline.

"We have to look tomorrow what exactly is with Vinny," Martinez said.

"He felt something about his groin, tomorrow he will have a scan.

"Such injuries have to be rested first, but I am indeed worried."

Martinez went on to lament the injury as undeserved for a player who has been in good form since arriving with his national side. 

"It's one of those setbacks that no one deserves, since he's been training here with us, he's acting on a huge level, taking responsibility and pulling the team forward, you do not want to break that kind of momentum.

"You could feel that everyone was worried when he went down. It is disappointing that you have to see Kompany leave for a scan, he knows his body and knows exactly when something is wrong."

Portugal coach Fernando Santos was without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid superstar given extra time to recover from the Champions League final.

And Santos was happy his side kept stars such as Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne at bay, noting Belgium have not been beaten since 2016.

"Belgium are a team that has not had a defeat for 21 months and that has to do with their offensive power," Santos said. "But we are a team that defend well, that is to our merit. We played a very acceptable game.

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"We knew how our opponents would play, but we did not respond well in the first 20 minutes, when we were disorganised, allowing us to create problems on the flanks, and both forwards [Goncalo] Guedes and Bernardo [Silva] were too far behind.

"Belgium moved into our midfield and I traded Bernardo with Gelson [Martins] and told them to pay more attention to the wings, the pair between the side and the midfielder, and then the two strikers did not lose as much. the plan worked out and we were better."

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