Old Futbol Buffet–Serbians Be-Deviled

Serbia 0 Belgium 3

I made time for this game to see Belgium’s supposed “Golden Generation”.  Once I saw the team sheet, I was impressed—Hazard, Witsel, Dembele, and a defense featuring Courtois, Vermaelen, Kompany, and Vertonghen.  But the visitors were put under immediate pressure.  Unfortunately, Serbia did not make the breakthrough, which would be their downfall.  The Belgians came into the match, and eventually Benteke scored to put the hosts behind at halftime.  A fantastic cross from De Bruyne (who had a very good match) created the easiest of chances for a striker I wasn’t that impressed with on the whole.

Serbia, despite all their industry and desire, left the pitch with no points because of poor service, not framing the goal properly, and defensive lapses.  Ivanovic was a force the entire match, driving forward on the right hand side but his efforts went unrewarded. Tosic was active on the wing but spurned two solid chances.  Maybe that’s why Sir Alex got rid of him. Brkic did all he could in goal, making a fantastic save on Hazard to keep the score at 1-0.  Fatigue and desperation undid Serbia at the back.  A Serbian cross was served too deep, and from the resulting throw in Benteke shielded the ball before De Bruyne was released.  He sprinted into space and coolly slotted past Brkic.

A third goal was added in stoppage time, and the result flattered the visitors slightly.  Yes they were organized and took the chances, but the hosts could have done so much more. A couple of things I noticed during the match:

  • Lots of loose passes from Dembele.  Against more clinical opposition, he will be punished.
  • Witsel sat in with Chadli and Dembele and shielded the defense.  Width for the Serbians, as in the earlier game I watched (Russia v Portugal) did not pay dividends.
  • Hazard was subbed after 55’ which struck me as strange.  Injured?  Fatigued? Rested for Scotland?

Serbia fell to third but has Macedonia next so they should rebound.  Belgium is tied on top with Croatia, so next spring should be quite interesting.

As for the kits . . .

Loved the Serbia home jersey.  Wasn’t sure about the shorts, but it turns out it was a flag thing.

For the Belgians, their kit is unique.  It is made by a manufacturer that I am unfamiliar with: Burrda Sport.  The jersey is busy but not annoying.  The sublimated crest is a nice touch.

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