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Belgium 3-0 Egypt

10 June 2018
Belgium 3-0 Egypt

Eden Hazard scored once and assisted another goal in a 3-0 pre-World Cup friendly win over Egypt on Wednesday that gave anxious Belgium fans hope of a promising World Cup campaign.

Facing an Egypt side shorn of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in a 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Belgium were given a chance to patch over some recent difficulties during their preparation period.

Egypt boss Hector Cuper recently suggested that Salah could be fit for their World Cup opener against Uruguay on June 15.

He responded: 'He sent me a message, but I never told him it was "okay"'. "I'm hopeful of being able to play in our first game, but this will depend on how I feel when the day comes around".

Salah's optimism will be welcome news to the millions of Egypt fans preparing to support the team in their first World Cup in 28 years this summer. It was not normal because we won the African Cup seven times.

Salah is now bidding to recover as quickly as possible as he looks to make himself available for this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation, which is set to get under way next Friday. Egyptians are pinning their hopes on Salah.

Romelu Lukaku, favoured as starting striker over Michy Batshuayi, thumped home from close range in the 27th minute when Egypt's 45-year-old keeper Essam El-Hadary spilled from Eden Hazard. During their final training camp, Egypt played two other friendlies as they drew with Kuwait and Colombia. He is expected to return to action during the group stage in Russian Federation after suffering the injury during Liverpool's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid. Their opening game against Uruguay seemed a stretch too far.

"I don't think our performance was flawless, far from it".

"It's hard to say, but I think our group and togetherness", he said when asked about the strengths of his national team.

Dries Mertens and Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne showed a fluidity in their play that will concern England manager Gareth Southgate, but it was Hazard who added the second goal on 38 minutes.