Soccer-Belgium crush Poland to put Dutch misery behind them


Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group D - Belgium v Poland - King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium - June 8, 2022 Belgium's Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Substitute Leandro Trossard scored twice as Belgium put their Netherlands nightmare behind them to thump Poland 6-1 in a pulsating Nations League A game at the King Baudouin Stadium on Wednesday.

Belgium, coming off a 4-1 home drubbing by their Dutch neighbours on Friday, fell behind when Robert Lewandowski netted just before the half-hour mark, but levelled before the break through Axel Witsel.

They dominated the second period and after goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Trossard (two), Leander Dendoncker and debutant Lois Openda moved second in Group Four after two rounds, above Poland in third.

Belgium visit bottom side Wales on Saturday while Poland travel to the Netherlands. Poland, who suffered their biggest defeat in a competitive fixture since 1965, host Belgium in their return fixture on Tuesday.

"It was fantastic today," Trossard told VTM. "We had to react after the last game. We played well and created many chances. And, of course, it's nice when you can score so many goals."

He admitted he was at a loss as to why Belgium would put in two such contrasting performances in a matter of days.

"It's hard to explain, if we knew the answer to that, we would do something about it. But we responded well today, that was the most important thing."

The home side never looked flustered after falling behind, having scored in every game since a 1-0 loss to France at the 2018 World Cup, a run of 46 consecutive matches.

They also had Eden Hazard running the show as he impressed in his 66 minutes on the pitch, showing flashes of quality after a season blighted by injury and poor form at Real Madrid.

Poland took the lead against the run of play as Lewandowski completed a typically composed finish for his 76th international goal.

But Belgium were level three minutes before halftime through Witsel, and then peppered the Poland goal with shots after that.

They took the lead when Hazard slipped the ball to De Bruyne in acres of space in the box, a goal that was to open the floodgates as Trossard grabbed a quickfire brace, his second a superb curling effort into the top corner.

Dendoncker then crashed home a 30-yard shot under no pressure from the wilting visitors, and Openda completed the rout as he marked his first cap with a neat finish.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)

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