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Kevin De Bruyne’s first-half masterclass downs Wales

Kevin De Bruyne delivered a masterclass


Kevin De Bruyne’s first-half masterclass was enough for Belgium to beat Wales 2-1 in the Nations League and leave Rob Page’s side needing a win over Poland on Sunday to avoid relegation from Group A4.

Wales failed to recover after De Bruyne gave Belgium the lead  with an exquisite left-footed finish on the edge of the box and had no answer to the Man City playmaker as he continued to wreak havoc before the break, setting up former Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi with a low cross to make it 2-0.

Kieffer Moore’s early second-half goal  gave Wales hope of staging a comeback but not even the introduction of captain Gareth Bale off the bench could clinch an equaliser for a depleted Wales side that remain winless in the Nations League.

Wales are teetering on the edge of relegation from the top tier of the competition ahead of Sunday’s final Group A4 match against Poland in Cardiff on Sunday. Belgium, meanwhile, remain three points behind the table-topping Netherlands, who they must be by a margin of two on Sunday to head to the Nations League finals.

Belgium had a slow opening 10 minutes until a moment of quality from De Bruyne broke the deadlock. His left-footed, first-time finish on the edge of the area – after being teed up by Batshuayi’s perfectly-weighted pass  too precise for Wayne Hennessey to keep out despite getting a fingertip to it

Wales crumbled after conceding the first goal while Belgium never looked back and De Bruyne nearly doubled his tally as he struck the base of the post with another long-range effort just shy of the half-hour mark as Roberto Martinez’s side toyed with the visitors in Brussels.

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