KEVIN DE BRUYNE said ahead of the game he was “a bit bored” about facing Wales.
But in the ninth meeting between these two nations in as many years, the Manchester City maestro had everyone on his feet.
KdB scored a goal and set up a second for Michy Batshuayi as Belgium threatened to riot in the first half.
Credit to the exhausted Dragons who made a game out of it in the second half thanks to Kieffer Moore’s superb header.
But Wales won’t worry if they never face De Bruyne in this mood again.
Several of Rob Page’s big names had been forced out of the squad through injury – including Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ben Davies.
Skipper Gareth Bale had traveled back from the United States to be there – but the manager said it would have been “crazy” to start him.
So it was an experimental Dragons team playing against a Belgian team full of star qualities.
The guests actually started brilliantly, but fell behind after only 10 minutes.
Michy Batshuayi pulled back for De Bruyne, who swooped home from the edge of the box with typical nonchalance for the first time.
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Youri Tielemans and Batshuayi both missed golden chances – while the commanding KdB slammed a low shot into Waynes Hennessey’s post.
Former Chelsea man Eden Hazard intervened from the left and fired a shot over the goal to remind everyone how good he once was.
A second goal was only a matter of time and came when De Bruyne crossed Batshuayi from the right to hit the far post.
The City ace went through again late in the first half but this time was denied by Hennessey’s outstretched foot.
Page would have been grateful to hear the half-time whistle, knowing that a two-goal deficit flattered his side.
Belgium knows better than anyone that you write off the Dragons at your peril, and do so within five minutes of the restart despite being back at it.
Brennan Johnson eventually took on his man and hung a cross from the right that was perfect for Moore to walk home.
That’s nine goals in 27 internationals for the Bournemouth giant forward who could be a real weapon in Qatar.
Wales threw a shot at LA FC newcomer Bale midway through the second half to try and salvage an unlikely point.
In true Hollywood fashion, he could have leveled them as well by nodding over within minutes of being substituted on.
De Bruyne thought he had awarded his team a penalty when he went down late under a challenge from Joe Morrell – but the VAR rightly overruled it.
Johnson and Neco Williams both had chances to equalize late on, while Roberto Martinez was sent to the stands for wasting time as the game turned out to be far from boring.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6283448/belgium-2-wales-1-kevin-de-bruyne-kieffer-moore/ Belgium 2 Wales 1: Bored Kevin De Bruyne leaves fans trembling as Moore fails to score enough for the Dragons