Belgian players celebrate Kevin De Bruyne’s goal, Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski suffer. (Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP)
Thanks to its inclusion in this year’s calendar, the League of Nations is being used by several European teams as a testing ground for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. One of the most experienced is Polandwho will be Argentina’s third rival in group C. The balance of this Wednesday’s away match in Brussels will be rather uneven for the Poles: a good first half against Belgium, one of the best teams on the planet, a second nightmare period and a 6 to 1 that will be difficult to assimilate without more.
Czeslaw Michniewicz, a football obsessive nicknamed the Polish Mourinho and who took charge of the team four months ago to replace the Portuguese Paulo Sousa (he left for Flamengo), is trying in record time to consolidate his idea with the resources at his disposal, which are not many, beyond beyond that ace of spades named Robert Lewandowski.
That’s why after the 2-1 win against Wales a week ago, the manager decided to change almost half of his lineup and also the diagram: the 4-3-1-2 he had used in Wrocław became a 4-5-1 to try to neutralize an opponent who had just lost a landslide against Holland with a very weak production and had accumulated dozens of criticisms in recent days. that was it the first home defeat for the Belgians in nearly six years under the direction of Spaniard Roberto Martínez (During that time they had achieved 18 wins and 1 draw).
The red devils They did what was expected in the first half: they monopolized the ball and, with patience, tried to find a way to break through the imposing rival defensive wall. The team from the old socialist republic was well regrouped in its last 30 meters and left Lewandowski isolated and with a lot of ground to cover, which only for a few moments found the accompaniment of the talented Piotr Zielinsky.
Robert Lewandowski controls the ball as Axel Witsel scores it (Photo: Yves Herman / Reuters)
In any case, the guests were not overwhelmed in the first half, beyond the uncomfortable 10 minutes in the last part of the stage. Also, they took the oil from their only chance at riskthan the infallible Lewandowski took advantage of this after a pass through Sebastian Szymanski and a late start from Yannick Carrasco. That goal, which gave his side the lead, was his 76th in 131 games with his pick of the striker who is currently looking to leave Bayern Munich and move to Barcelona.
The Belgians, second in the FIFA rankings behind Brazil (and leader of that ranking continuously between April 2018 and February of this year), missed a lot in the opening chapter for Romelu Lukakuhurt, why his good game of South American roots suffered in that segment from the lack of punch in the last few meters. If he reached the breakeven before the interval it is thanks to a beautiful right from the crescent of axel vizelthe man who gives you balance in the middle.
The wear and tear that their players made during the first half without the ball had its impact on Poland in the complement. The defensive block started to offer cracks and Belgian football moved on from there. So, those 45 minutes were an ordeal for the visit. No one was surprised when at 14 minutes Kevin De Bruyne benefited from the assistance Danger of Eden and put logic in the result.
Thinking much more about the dose of effort than the result, Michniewicz withdrew Lewandowski from the field. That change was almost a gesture of surrender. Belgium showed no mercy and has been a shredder for the past 20 minutes. Leandro Trossard (Two), Leander Dendocker Y Lois Openda they brought the bill up to six, which wasn’t as high as that Bartlomiej Dragowski (title for the rest that the DT gave to Wojciech Szczesny, the holder of the goal) worked tirelessly to prevent his team from receiving a more decisive beating.
After this setback in Brussels, the Poles will have to face two more tests in the coming days: on Saturday they will visit the Netherlands in Rotterdam (on the same day Belgium will face Wales in Cardiff) and on Tuesday they will take revenge against the red devils in Warsaw.