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03 Dec 2021

Belgium still standing whilst others have departed

Belgium still standing whilst others have departed
The World Cup is at the interesting stage, when, if a team wins it stays in, but if it loses, well, it’s a case of, “Ta, ta, mind yourself on the step.” In other words, see you in four years’ time - that’s if you qualify.

The World Cup is at the interesting stage, when, if a team wins it stays in, but if it loses, well, it’s a case of, “Ta, ta, mind yourself on the step.” In other words, see you in four years’ time - that’s if you qualify.

The Luis Suarez bit – or, bite, if you like – is played out, so better, perhaps, to concentrate on what’s ahead, in particular, the game coming up tonight. The last of the first round knock-outs is at 9 o’clock, and involved is this column’s fancy, Belgium, taking on the USA.

If the TV is not switched on in the Dundalk Gaels clubrooms, I won’t see it, at least not the first half. Tuesday night is lotto night on The Ramparts, and World Cup or no World Cup, we have to get the readies in to help keep the old boat afloat.

I’ve been happy enough with Marc Wilmots’ side, even if others haven’t. Three from three – I bet Roy Hodgson would love to have that to say. And Vicente del Bosque, as well.

Belgium may not have burned up the turf; but better to win dirty than to go out with heads held high, or whatever they say about honourable losers. Since Brazil’s scrape past Chile, Uruguay’s fall to Colombia on Saturday night, and Holland’s struggle to find a way past Mexico 24 hours later, teams such as Germany, Argentina, France and, yes, Belgium would have been scraping their feet, anxious to get up and at it.

I can’t say how France and Germany fared out yesterday, but am hoping Belgium are still standing at 11 o’clock tonight. And will it worry me if Marouane is from the start? Not in the least.

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