The FIFA World Cup qualifiers threw up plenty of surprises last night with Albania conquering Norway in Oslo while Iceland picked up a vital three points in Slovenia. However the game in which I predicted a shock did not work out in such a manner.
For some reason, perhaps temporary insanity, I had an inkling that Macedonia could do the number on Belgium despite the Rode Duivels litany of talent. Perhaps it was the wishful thinking of my Scottish heritage that was hoping the Tartan Army would be given a life-line courtesy of our Balkan friends. In the end Wales put paid to any Alban patriotism when Hal Robson-Kanu scored in the 74th minute at Hampden Park.
However I have gone hideously off topic; back to Belgium.
So why did my prophecy not come true?
Well that would have a lot to do with Chelsea Football Club.
Belgium never really looked in trouble at the National Arena Filip II in Skopje as they cruised to a 2-0 victory and continue to share top spot in Group A with Croatia.
Much has been made of the talent available to the Belgian side and they continued their streak of not conceding an away goal in the qualifying phase with the likes of Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens sitting on the bench.
But the first goal came from a player gaining a real reputation; and starting to create serious anticipation of his return to Stamford Bridge. Of course we are talking about Kevin De Bruyne who scored his second goal for his country last night.
After dispossessing the left back he attacked the goal-mouth, shaped to cross and gave goalkeeper Tome Pacovski the eyes, before tucking the ball into his near post.
If that wasn’t enough for Chelsea fans to take from the game Eden Hazard finally replicated his club form for the national side with a talismanic performance. He added the second after dusting himself off after being fouled in the area and coolly rolling a penalty into the bottom left corner for 2-0.
With Thibaut Courtois keeping goal it certainly seems the future is bright in Belgium for Chelsea FC.
Are you looking forward to seeing Kevin De Bruyne in a Chelsea shirt?
image: © mikehamm