That’s all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
Belgium sit second in Group E on goal difference, whilst Wales are fourth after this defeat. Next up for Belgium is a trip to the Czech Republic at the weekend, who beat Estonia 6-2 today. Meanwhile Wales have a friendly against Mexico to look forward to at the weekend.
Belgium get their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start, after a 3-1 victory over Wales. They led 2-1 at the break, thanks to goals from De Bruyne and Hazard, after Wilson had fired Wales into an early lead. Lukaku then made sure of the win from the penalty spot on 73 minutes, after Mepham brought down Mertens in the box. Belgium then just saw the game out, holding off a Welsh resurgence.
90′ + 3′ FULL-TIME: BELGIUM 3-1 WALES
90′ + 3′ Late change for Belgium, with Mertens replaced by Trossard.
90′ There will be a minimum of two minutes added time played at the end of the second half.
88′ Decent effort! Mertens is allowed too much time and space on the edge of the box and he fires a low effort towards goal. However, it is too close to Ward, who comfortably gathers.
86′ Moore tries to make an instant impact for Wales from a set piece, almost getting on the end of a corner delivery from James. However, Courtois is put under heavy pressure and a free-kick is awarded.
84′ Wales make a change as well, with Bale heading off the pitch and he has been replaced by Moore.
84′ Belgium make another substitution, with Hazard coming off and he has been replaced by Castagne.
83′ Belgium have a busy period coming up, with two more World Cup qualifiers in the next week. Whilst Wales have a break at the weekend, facing Mexico in a friendly, before welcoming Czech Republic next week.
81′ Belgium’s all-time leading scorer Lukaku has netted 41 goals in 39 appearances under Roberto Martinez for the national team – 23 more than any other player since Martinez took over in September 2016. Lukaku has 13 goals and four assists in his last 11 appearances for Belgium
79′ Belgium can sense that the game is won now, as they are slowing the pace, just keeping the ball nicely and running the clock down.
77′ There isn’t much time left on the clock for Wales to get back into the game now and since the third goal, the confidence levels seems to have dropped and they are struggling to get into the Belgium half.
75′ Hazard is shown the first yellow card of the game after a coming together with Roberts on the sidelines, after the winger dived into the back of the defender.
73′ GOAL! Lukaku makes it 3-1 from the penalty spot! Mepham brought down Mertens deep inside the penalty box as he went to clear the danger and it handed Lukaku the chance to get his sides third goal. The striker made no mistakes from the spot, sending Ward the wrong way and placing it in the bottom right corner.
72′ BELGIUM PENALTY! Lovely play by the hosts, they work it out wide to the right through De Bruyne and a lovely cross is whipped into the box, which forces Ward to parry it away. Mepham then doesn’t check his surroundings before trying to make the clearance and Mertens sneaks in, just getting to the ball first and the Wales defender brings him down. The referee points to the spot straight away.
71′ Belgium look a little frustrated at the moment, they are enjoying possession, but just can’t get into the final third to go and get their third goal.
69′ Belgium haven’t lost a home match in qualifying for the European Championships or World Cup since September 2010 against Germany – they are unbeaten in 24 since, winning 18 and drawing six and scoring 87 goals.
67′ Wales make their second substitution of the game, with Wilson the man coming off and he has been replaced by Roberts.
66′ CLOSE! De Bruyne finds Lukaku in space on the edge of the box and he just manages to get away from Lawrence, before firing a shot at goal, but it’s well blocked by Rodon. The rebound then falls to De Bruyne and he tries to curl it into the bottom right corner of the net. However, the effort flies just wide.
64′ There has been plenty of goals in the other game in Group E today, which is between Estonia and Czech Republic, with the visitors currently leading 6-1.
62′ Meunier is lucky to get away with only a warning from the referee after his high and late challenge on Bale, which catches the Spurs man as he flicked the ball away.
60′ Still no sign of any more changes from Wales, they had to make a very early substitution in the first half with Allen picking up an injury.
58′ Wild effort! Wales win the ball back deep inside the Belgium half and James rushes his effort and his strike flies well wide of the hosts goal.
56′ Not too far away! James finds space down the left wing and races towards goal, cutting inside onto his right foot and looks to pass to Bale, but his teammate gets crowded out, so James goes for goal himself. However, he fires it narrowly wide of the post.
55′ Wales are seeing a lot more of the ball, it is Belgium who are camped inside their own half now. However, ther visitors did just win a throw-in deep near the corner flag, but didn’t show enough movement off the ball and then had to go all the way back to the half-way line and then Ward in goal.
53′ Belgium and Wales haven’t faced since the EURO 2016 quarter final – after taking an early lead through Radja Nainggolan, Belgium were beaten 3-1 by Wales.
51′ An early goal for Wales would be the perfect scenario, before Belgium manage to get back into their rhythm and start creating chances in the final third.
49′ CHANCE! Almost a spectacular goal from Bale! A deep cross from the right wing catches Courtois out and the keeper opts to leave it, so it finds James at the back post and he fires it back across goal for Bale, who tries an acrobatic overhead kick. However, it’s slightly out of his reach and his effort flies wide.
48′ Bright start to the second half by Wales, they are pressing forward in numbers and are enjoying a spell of possession themselves in the opening few minutes. However they are yet to test Courtois.
46′ The second half is under way!
46′ Belgium have made a substitution ahead of the second half, with Vermaelen replaced by Denayer.
Wales started really well, catching the hosts out on the counter, but as the game has gone on, they’ve been unable to get on the ball enough to cause their opponents defence any problems.
Belgium come from behind to lead 2-1 at the break, after Wales took an early lead on 10 minutes thanks to a superb counter and finish by Wilson. However, the advantage didn’t last long, with De Bruyne levelling the score line on 22 minutes and then Hazard headed them ahead six minutes later. The hosts then continued to dominate, but couldn’t manage to get a third before half-time.
45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: BELGIUM 2-1 WALES
45′ There will be a minimum of two minutes added time played at the end of the first half.
44′ The pace of the game has dropped quite a bit, with Belgium just looking to see the game out to half-time now. They aren’t pressing forward with much intent, just keeping it nicely in midfield.
42′ There’s not long left to play before the end of the first half, can Wales equaliser before the half-time whistle? Or, will Belgium extend their lead?
40′ Wales have only lost four of their last 30 qualifying matches for the European Championships or World Cup (W15 D11), winning their last two games in their last qualifying campaign for EURO 2020 against Azerbaijan and Hungary.
38′ Wales haven’t been able to break forward on the counter recently, as the front line are having to sit so deep, so they have too far to go when they do manage to win the ball back.
36′ Another injury concern for Wales, with Wilson down in the middle of the pitch after a foul by Dendoncker. The medical staff are giving him some treatment and it looks like the winger is going to try and run the injury off.
34′ We’re past the half an hour mark now and it’s Belgium who lead 2-1, despite Wales having taken an early lead after 10 minutes thanks to Wilson. The hosts quickly turned it around, with goals from De Bruyne and Hazard.
32′ Decent effort! Hazard finds space on the edge of the box and fires an effort towards goal, however, he gets too much on it and it flies over the bar.
30′ Wales have hardly touched the ball in the last 10 minutes or so, they are just defending deep in numbers and their priority now will be to make sure they don’t concede a third before the break.
28′ Meunier has been playing almost as a right winger for most of the game and he ventured deep into the Wales half of the pitch then, delivering a lovely cross into the box for Hazard to finish.
28′ GOAL! Belgium take the lead, with Hazard making it 2-1! They have kept the pressure up on Wales and made it count. Meunier does well down the right and whips a good cross into the penalty area, which Roberts seems to have covered, but he slips as he goes to jump and head it away. This then allows Hazard to sneak in and he powers his header into the right corner of the net. Tough one for Roberts, but the goal has been coming.
26′ De Bruyne is the first player to score a competitive away goal against Wales since Juraj Kucka for Slovakia in October 2019 in a EURO 2020 qualifier, ending the Dragons’ run of 418 minutes without conceding on the road in competitive fixtures.
24′ Belgium look eager to get another goal here and make it 2-1 before the break, Wales are defending well, especially how they are dealing with Lukaku up front so far.
22′ Hazard spotted De Bruyne in a little bit of space in midfield for the first time in the game and his teammate did the rest with a superb finish.
22′ GOAL! De Bruyne equalises for Belgium, it’s 1-1! What a strike it is as well! Hazard cuts in from the left wing, plays it across to De Bruyne and the Manchester City midfielder is allowed far too much time and space to fire an effort towards goal and his strike flies straight into the bottom right corner.
21′ It looks like the visitors are going to have to do a lot of defending today, they are sitting deep inside the half at the moment as Belgium press forward and keep the ball well.
19′ Wales are getting into a five-man backline when they are defending, with Roberts and Williams dropping deep into full-back positions, to help soak up the pressure.
17′ CHANCE! Lukaku should make it 1-1! De Bruyne whips a superb low cross into the box from the right wing and the Wales defence just stand and watch it fly towards Lukaku. However, the striker doesn’t read it quickly enough and his heavy touch sends it high over the crossbar. He had an open goal there and should have scored.
16′ Decent effort! Mertens sees his cross into the box well blocked, but it falls straight to Tielemans and the Leicester midfielder volleys it towards goal. However, it takes a deflection off Lawrence and goes just wide.
15′ Blocked! Dendoncker just flicks the ball past Lawrence in the nick of time and De Bruyne then races onto the end of the pass, before playing it through to Lukaku, who tries to work space for the shot, but his low effort is well blocked by Rodon.
14′ Good pressure by Wales up top, they are forcing Belgium to rush their passes and this is causing a few errors and passes to go astray.
12′ In six previous meetings in World Cup qualifiers, Wales have beaten Belgium just once (D1 L4), a 2-0 victory in March 1993 with goals from Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush.
10′ This is exactly how Wales will have wanted to open up Belgium, with a quick counter and they showed their quality with the goal. Bale showing great skill to adjust his feet quickly and flick the ball in behind for Wilson to finish.
10′ GOAL! Wilson fires Wales into the lead, it’s 1-0! Fantastic counter-attack by Wales, all one touch football and they open up the Belgium defence. Roberts races forward, plays a one-two with Bale, who then flicks it behind the hosts defence with the outside of his boot and Wilson races onto the end of it, then slides it into the bottom left corner of the net. Lovely move and finish.
8′ Wales have been forced into making an early substitution, with Allen unable to carry on and Morrell is his replacement.
7′ Early problem here for Allen, the midfielder is down and appears to have picked up a hamstring injury. The medical staff are on the pitch and it looks like he may struggle to continue.
5′ Wales may get some luck on the counter-attack though, if they can get the ball up to Bale and James, who could use their pace to beat the three-man Belgium defence.
3′ It’s Belgium with the early possession here, they are keeping it well in midfield and Wales are having to get everyone back behind the ball to defend.
The teams are out on the pitch and kick off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all the match action!
Wales are without a couple of key players, in Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies, who are missing due to injury. However, they do have Bale fit and he will lead the line up front alongside James and captain the Welsh side.
Belgium are missing captain Eden Hazard for these qualifiers due to injury, but they still have a host of stars available today, including De Bruyne and Lukaku.
WALES SUBS: Jonathan Williams, Ben Cabango, Wayne Hennessey, Hal Robson-Kanu, Joe Morrell, Kieffer Moore, Matthew Smith, Chris Gunter, Tyler Roberts, Tom Lawrence, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Adam Davies.
WALES (3-5-2): Danny Ward; Chris Mepham, James Lawrence, Joe Rodon; Connor Roberts, Joe Allen, Ethan Ampadu, Neco Williams, Harry Wilson; Daniel James, Gareth Bale.
BELGIUM SUBS: Thomas Foket, Adnan Januzaj, Timothy Castagne, Jason Denayer, Michy Batshuayi, Leandro Trossard, Dennis Praet, Christian Benteke, Koen Casteels, Hans Vanaken, Jeremy Doku, Simon Mignolet.
BELGIUM (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne, Leander Dendoncker, Youri Tielemans; Thorgan Hazard, Dries Mertens; Romelu Lukaku.
Both teams haven’t played an international game since November, which came in the Nations League. Belgium finished top of their League A group, to set up a semi-final clash with France later this year. Meanwhile Wales will be promoted from League B after their group win.
These two sides face off in their opening Group E game in World Cup Qualifying, their first meeting since they faced off in the Euro 2016 quarter-final, which Wales won 3-1, but were then knocked out by eventual champions Portugal. They will be eager to get this qualifying campaign off to a winning start. The other three teams in Group E are Belarus, Czech Republic and Estonia.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the World Cup qualifying clash between Belgium and Wales.