Soccer-Batshuayi on target as Belgium beat Poland


Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group D - Poland v Belgium - PGE Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland - June 14, 2022 Belgium's Michy Batshuayi in action with Poland's Jakub Kiwior REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters) -Michy Batshuayi’s diving header in the first half was enough for Belgium to secure a first ever victory in Poland with a 1-0 success in their Nations League A clash at the Stadion Narodowy on Tuesday.

Batshuayi stooped to steer Youri Tielemans' excellent cross into the net on 16 minutes to ensure Belgium scored for a 48th consecutive match, an incredible record dating back to a 1-0 loss to France at the 2018 World Cup.

Coach Roberto Martinez’s side stay in contention for top spot in Group Four as they trail leaders Netherlands by three points with two rounds remaining. They will travel to Amsterdam to face the Dutch in their final pool match in September.

Belgium controlled a game of few chances and had the best of the opportunities with Poland unable to muster much as an attacking force, despite the return to the side from injury of striker Robert Lewandowski.

Poland may have had their talisman back, but Belgium were without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne after he was sent on his holidays following the 1-1 draw with Wales on Saturday.

The reverse fixture between these two finished 6-1 to Belgium last week, but this was a different kind of contest in Warsaw with both sides showing signs of fatigue after a long season.

The visitors' lead was deserved, with Batshuayi scoring a 25th international goal in his 45th appearance after a bright start from the visitors.

He had another shot deflected just wide just before halftime, while Eden Hazard flashed an effort narrowly off target early in the second period as Belgium dominated the play.

A poor touch from Lewandowski saw him spurn a good chance at the other end, but the best of the opportunities for the home side fell to Kamil Glik when he headed inches wide of the post from a corner.

(Reporting by Nick SaidEditing by Toby Davis)

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