SHOCKER! Villa striker pips Chelsea starlet to starting place and does this...

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Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke was handed a huge boost to his World Cup chances when he started against the Ivory Coast. However, the Chelsea starlet need not worry after finishing like this...

In what was the Villa striker's big audition for a starting place for Belgium in the World Cup finals, he probably hasn't done himself any favours after this unbelievable miss which must go down as one of the worst ever.

The big team news before the game was Aston Villa's Christian Benteke's inclusion in the Belgium starting line-up, leaving highly-rated Chelsea prospect Romelu Lukaku on the bench.

A couple of days before, highly-respected and former Belgium coach Georges Leekens indicated that it was either going to be one of Lukaku or Benteke starting for Belgium, and not both. And in the run-up to the match, he was proven right.

Benteke had a huge chance to stake a claim for the starting number nine role in Brazil, but after his glaring miss and inability to get on the scoresheet, he was replaced with 15-minutes to go with competitor Lukaku. 

The substitution, for the sake of argument in Benteke case, coincided with a late comeback from the Ivory Coast, throwing away a 2-0 lead, thanks to goals from Chelsea legend Dider Drogba and former Leeds winger Max Gradel.

The good news for Everton and Villa supporters is the position as Belgium's number nine shirt in Brazil is still available and it could go down to whoever puts in the best performances at club level from now until the end of the season.

image: © mikehamm

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