Int’l roundup: Belgium win ahead of WQC; Russia gear up for Confed Cup

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With the summer set of World Cup qualifying fixtures taking place this week, a roundup of a handful of international friendlies as some of the heavy hitters make final preparations…

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Belgium 2- 1 Czech Republic

At the halfway point of qualification, Belgium are sitting pretty (currently atop Group H, two points clear of second-place Greece) with an eminently winnable fixture, away to fourth-place Estonia, up next. On Monday, Roberto Martinez’s side took on the Czech Republic in Brussels.

Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi opened the scoring in the 25th minute — a lead which would be short-lived, as Michal Krmencik brought the visitors back to level terms just four minutes later — and Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini scored what turned out to be the winner seven minutes into the second half, with — you guessed it — his head.

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Hungary 0-3 Russia

The 2017 Confederations Cup kicks off in less than two weeks — Saturday, June 17, to be exact — which means the Russians are just 12 days from their first competitive fixture since their final group game at EURO 2016, on June 20. As hosts of next summer’s World Cup, the last 12 months have been full of nothing but meaningless friendly after meaningless friendly.

Sunday’s victory in Budapest is the penultimate friendly on the schedule ahead of the Confederations Cup. Chile will visit Moscow on Friday, eight days before Stanislav Cherchesov’s side takes on New Zealand in the tournament opener in Saint Petersburg. Fedor Smolov, Marton Eppel (own goal) and Dmitriy Poloz were the goal scorers.

Elsewhere in international friendlies

Macedonia 0-0 Turkey
Egypt vs. Lybia — canceled