Frustrated Martinez demands more
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.