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VIEW | We are not in a crisis: Belgium’s Timothy Chestnut – SABC News

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Belgium’s Timati Castanet said on Wednesday that the team was not in crisis after two lackluster performances in the World Cup group stage, prompting introspection ahead of a must-win match against Croatia to advance to the knockout stages.

World number two Belgium beat Canada 1-0 but were heavily outplayed and suffered a humiliating 2-0 loss to Morocco in their next Group F match.

Belgium will almost certainly have to beat Croatia on Thursday to progress to the round of 16. A draw for Croatia will be enough to advance to the knockout stages, but Belgium will need Canada to beat Morocco by three goals to have a chance to advance.

Belgium’s players publicly admitted they were disappointed with their performance in Qatar and said they exchanged heart-to-heart at a team meeting following Sunday’s defeat to Morocco.

The meeting sparked speculation of a split in the team that lost to eventual champions France in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Manager Roberto Martinez said his players were under pressure after they finished third in 2018. He said they are now focused on enjoying the match and playing fearlessly against the 2018 runners-up.

Rumors of Belgium’s demise are greatly exaggerated, Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said in preparation for Thursday’s match.

Croatia were held to a draw by Tunisia in their opener but hit their peak form in a 4-1 defeat of Canada, leaving them in fine form going into the clash at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Dalic ruled out any idea that Croatia would be happy to draw.

Belgium are still without their power forward Romelu Lukaku, but he is expected to return on Thursday, which could be bad news for Croatia’s defence.

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