Belgium captain Vincent Kompany watched as his nation returned to the World Cup stage and spun off a run of four-straight wins, boosting the profile of Belgian soccer before slipping up in a 1-0 loss to Argentina in the quarterfinals Saturday.
“It was an excellent adventure,” Kompany said. “We gave everything we had to give. The rest is football. Perhaps in four years’ time, in Russia, we’ll have more luck, more experience. It’s worth remembering that our team is the youngest at this World Cup.”
Belgium swept through Group H by beating Russia, Algeria and South Korea (the latter in a 1-0 win where the winner was scored with just 10 men on the pitch). They then dominated the United States for most of a 2-1 extra time win before falling to Gonzalo Higuain’s early tally on Saturday.
The roster featured only one player older than 29, defender Daniel Van Buyten, and will be loaded up for future tournament runs. It certainly will sting the young team but it’s easy to forget they made this run without Christian Benteke.
Look out, UEFA.