Frus­trated Martinez de­mands more

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BRUS­SELS: Bel­gium coach Roberto Martinez de­manded his play­ers live up to their col­lec­tive tal­ent after a frus­trat­ing 1-1 draw with Greece in a World Cup qual­i­fier on Satur­day.

Although they were with­out the in­jured Eden Haz­ard, Bel­gium still boasted the likes of Ever­ton’s Romelu Lukaku and Napoli’s Dries Mertens in their ranks but the ex­pected goal glut in their Group H clash never ma­te­ri­alised.

In fact, Bel­gium needed a goal from Lukaku a minute from the end to sal­vage a point which kept them two points ahead of Greece although they lost their per­fect record which had seen 21 goals scored and just one con­ceded in the first four games.

“I feel a lot of frus­tra­tion. With the amount of in­di­vid­ual tal­ent we have at our dis­posal, we have to show more,” said Martinez.

“We didn’t have enough pen­e­tra­tion. The sur­face wasn’t great but that’s not an ex­cuse. The pos­i­tive thing is that we are still on top of the ta­ble.”

Bel­gium lacked a cre­ative spark in Brus­sels and they were made to pay when Greece grabbed the lead just 20 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod when Ben­fica striker Kostas Mitroglou latched on to a long ball to fire home his third goal of the qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign.

Greece were re­duced to 10 men after 65 min­utes when Pana­gi­o­tis Tacht­sidis was red carded for a crude lunge on de­fender Toby Alder­weireld.

Lukaku drove home from close range in the 89th minute be­fore Ge­or­gios Tza­ve­las was sent-off in in­jury time. AFP

Bel­gium coach Roberto Martinez with Kevin Mi­ral­las.

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