Super subs make the difference for Belgium

Belgium saved their best for last in the match against Denmark, having started with De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel on the bench. But Roberto Martinez sent them all into action after the break and their presence made all the difference.

Kevin De Bruyne

Eriksen’s Inter Milan teammate Romelu Lukaku sprinted into the box on 55 minutes and found De Bruyne who set up Thorgan Hazard to equalise with a brilliant pass through the stunned Danish defence.

Lukaku, who scored twice as Belgium swept Russia aside 3-0 in the Group B opener, was also at the origin of Belgium’s second goal.

He started a series of one-touch passes involving the Hazard brothers that finally found De Bruyne who fired from outside the box with his left foot.

His low shot beat a diving Kasper Schmeichel at his near post, with De Bruyne immediately refusing any celebration out of respect to Eriksen.#photo1

It was a game of two halves with the surprisingly dominant Danes pushing early on to make amends for a disappointing 1-0 loss to Finland in the opener marred by Eriksen’s collapse.

Courtois had to stop Joakim Maehle’s shot after a superb mazy run in the box and then Daniel Wass’s header, while Martin Braithwaite headed wide early into the game.

Belgium barely crossed the halfway line and stayed uncharacteristically subdued as the Danish defence had little problem coping with their attack in the first half.

At the other end, Eriksen’s replacement Mikkel Damsgaard, the 20-year-old Sampdoria striker, was a frequent threat to Courtois.

Belgium levelled possession after the break and came back, largely controlling the game.

But they let Danish striker Martin Braithwaite hit the crossbar with a header four minutes from time while Mathias Jensen fired just over the crossbar in the Danes’ last-gasp effort.