Kompany exits early as Portugal holds Belgium to 0-0 draw

Sherman Parsons
June 3, 2018

Both sides continue to prepare for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation this summer.

There were a couple of injury worries for Belgium as the game moved into the second period, with Vincent Kompany withdrawn after appearing to tweak something in a challenge with Martins, before Courtois had his hand trod on by substitute Ricardo Quaresma. The central defender hurt himself when he lunged for the ball and nearly immediately left the pitch.

Martinez had to replace Kompany with Dedryck Boyata in the 55th minute after the Manchester City captain appeared to pull a muscle in the process of making a tackle, potentially putting his World Cup place in doubt.

Goncalo Guedes and De Bruyne sent early efforts off target as both sides took time to settle into any rhythm in Brussels.

Kompany's departure was the major talking point in a disappointing goalless draw which underscored that Belgium's star-studded squad still has work to do if it is to live up to its billing as one of the favorites to win the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos made six changes from the team that started Monday's 2-2 draw with Tunisia and were again without Cristiano Ronaldo, still resting after last weekend's Champions League final. Without him, Portugal missed the handful of chances it managed to carve out.

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Portugal host Algeria on June 7 before their World Cup opener on June 15 against Spain in a group also featuring Morocco and Iran.

Belgium opened strongly, outplaying Portugal in the midfield, but could not turn its pressure into a goal. The hosts started the better of the two sides, but Portugal soon took control and created numerous scoring opportunities.

"Hopefully he can have a great holiday and he can come back in good condition".

Jan Vertonghen made history on the night as he became the first Belgian to win 100 caps for his country and he nearly marked the occasion with a goal when he saw a powerful curling effort parried away by Beto 10 minutes after the restart.

"It wasn't bad, but we could do better", De Bruyne said.

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