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Eden Hazard and Belgium fail to break down Welsh wall in Euro 2016 qualifying

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Belgium have recently moved up to the number two spot of FIFA's (fairly silly) rankings, but their lofty position was of no help in breaking down a resilient and organized (and all the other cliched adjectives that are thrown around in these situations) Wales side.

It didn't help Belgium's case that Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Benteke were both largely subpar, while even Eden Hazard drifted out of the game for part of the first half.  They huffed and puffed and pressed and created plenty in the second half, which was mostly one way traffic towards the Welsh goal, but the hosts survived by scratching, clawing, and simply willing their way to the clean sheet and three important points in Euro 2016 qualifying.

And of course what helped the visitors the least was that Belgium were the architects of their own downfall, the otherwise imperious Radja Nainggolan gifting one to Gareth Bale with an absolute heads gone moment.  Picking the ball out of the net may have been Thibaut Courtois's only touch.

Marc Wilmots threw on attacking players in a desperate attempt to find a goal, but neither Lukaku nor Ferreira-Carrasco could find the back of the net.  And so, in the battle of unbeatens in Group B, Wales now go top, while Belgium fall to second, three points behind.  Israel, in third, also lost.

Meanwhile, over in Iceland, Petr Cech and the Czech Republic conceded twice in the final thirty minutes to lose their unbeaten record in Group A and fall to second as well.  The only other Chelsea interest in today's internationals was young Croatian Mario Pasalic, but he was not selected for the squad against Italy.  That match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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