Sep 1, 2016 at 7.45pm UK
FT(HT: 0-1)
Silva (34', 62')

Live Commentary: Belgium 0-2 Spain - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the international friendly between Belgium and Spain from Brussels.

Roberto Martinez and Julen Lopetegui both made their international management debuts as Belgium welcomed Spain to Brussels for a glamour friendly on Thursday night.

It was the visitors that entered the half-time break with the lead courtesy of a 34th-minute effort from David Silva, before the Manchester City attacker made it 2-0 from the penalty spot just past the hour.

Spain's domination continued in the latter stages as they looked to pour more misery on Belgium boss Martinez, but it finished 2-0 as Lopetegui enjoyed a winning start to his La Roja tenure.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

7.14pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live coverage continues from Brussels as Belgium welcome Spain for a glamour friendly. There are two new managers on show tonight, with Roberto Martinez and Julen Lopetegui set to take charge of Belgium and Spain respectively for the first time. There are no points or prizes on offer tonight, but it has all the makings of a fascinating night of football!

7.17pmTonight will actually be the 22nd international fixture between Belgium and Spain. Spain have won 11 of the previous 21, with Belgium victorious on five occasions and the further five fixtures finishing all square. Their last meeting came during qualification for the 2010 World Cup, when Spain thumped Belgium 5-0. Incredibly, not since June 1980 have Belgium beaten Spain in regulation time.

7.20pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Brussels. I can confirm that Eden Hazard will skipper Belgium in what is a very interesting XI...


BEL: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, J. Lukaku; Witsel, Nainggolan; De Bruyne, Carrasco, E. Hazard; Origi

ESP: De Gea; Carvajal, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Koke, Thiago; Vitolo, Morata, Silva

7.25pmSo there we have it. Martinez and Lopetegui have selected their XIs for their international debuts. Let's start with Belgium - plenty of familiar faces in the home side's team tonight as Premier League representatives Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Divock Origi all start. There is also a spot for Lukaku, but it is Jordan and not Romelu that makes the starting XI. Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, is only on the bench due to his lack of football this season.

Divock Origi of Belgium celebrates scoring his team's first goal with Eden Hazard during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match on June 22, 2014© Getty Images

7.28pmAs for Spain, the surprise inclusion comes in the final third as Vitolo is given the nod over Nolito, who starts on the bench. David de Gea, as expected, starts behind a centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, while Koke and Thiago are given roles in a three-man midfield. Alvaro Morata was Spain's first-choice centre-forward at Euro 2016 and the Real Madrid man gets the nod once again tonight.

7.31pmThere is no getting away from the fact that Euro 2016 was a big disappointment for Belgium, despite the fact that they reached the quarter-finals. The Red Devils would have fancied their chances in their last-eight clash with Wales, but it was Chris Coleman's side that advanced. As a result, the much-criticised Marc Wilmots was sacked after four years in the position and seven years in the set-up.

7.34pmNow it is the turn of Roberto Martinez to lead Belgium into a new era. The Spaniard, who left Everton at the end of the season, has appointed player-turned-pundit Thierry Henry as his new assistant manager and it will be quite bizarre to see those two in the dug-out tonight. This one is a friendly, but their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign begins with a trip to Cyprus on Tuesday night.

Roberto Martinez looks on prior to the FA Cup fifth-round match between Bournemouth and Everton on February 20, 2016© Getty Images

7.37pmSpain, meanwhile, are also under new management, with Lopetegui replacing Del Bosque following the European Championships. The 50-year-old has previously managed Spain's Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 sides and has now been given the honour of leading the senior side. Incredibly, Spain are currently down in eighth in the FIFA rankings after going out in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup and losing to Italy in the last-16 stage of Euro 2016. This is a wounded Spain side, that is for sure.

7.40pmSpain will begin their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign at home to Liechtenstein on Monday, before taking on Italy and Albania in two tough fixtures next month. Tonight will be a good chance for Lopetegui to assess his squad and start thinking about who will take the team forward. Oh and for anyone hoping for a punch-up on the sidelines, that will not be the case. Lopetegui has had this to say on Martinez: "First he is my friend. He has my admiration for the career he has had in England."

7.43pmConfirmation of the two squads for tonight's match...

0 minKICKOFF! Belgium get the first period underway in Brussels...

2 min... out with the old and in with the new then. Some things never chance though and Spain are attempting to play through the back in the early moments of this match. This is a friendly, but make no mistake, both teams will be desperate to win and sent out a message to the rest of Europe.

4 minNot quite a full house inside the stadium tonight, but there is a good atmosphere and both countries are well represented in the stands. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the opening four minutes, although it is now Belgium who are enjoying possession of the football.

5 minSmart work from Carrasco as the Belgian comes off the right and slips a little ball into Origi, but the striker was in an offside position. Spain break down the other end with Carvajal, but it is very smart work from Jordan Lukaku, who uses his sizeable frame to make the challenge. Good work there.

6 minCHANCE! Mistake from De Gea as the Spain goalkeeper palms a Hazard cross straight to Witsel, but the midfielder's low strike is wide of the post. Bit nervy from Spanish Dave there!

8 minReally good stuff from Belgium at the moment as they continue to move the ball in the final third and find pockets of space between the lines. Roberto Martinez barks out his orders from the touchline as another slick passing move occurs down the right. Very good tempo to this game.

10 minAlba breaks down the left for Spain and looks to deliver into Morata, but Vertonghen is on hand to make the clearance. Spain's turn to enjoy some possession in the final third of the field now.

13 minSilva delivers a dangerous free kick into the Belgium box and a couple of red shirts go down under pressure, but the referee is not interested and eventually the ball bounces behind for a goal kick. Still goalless with 13 minutes on the clock, but it is a fast-paced and entertaining contest in Brussels.

14 minFree kick Belgium in an interesting position as Ramos fells Origi...

15 min... De Bruyne delivers and Morata is forced to head behind his own goal.

17 minMorata uses his power to run away from two Belgium defenders, but Meunier is on the cover to make the challenge. Just the one decent chance to far tonight and that came to Witsel.

19 minRamos has to deal with a bouncing ball under pressure from Origi and under the circumstances, the centre-back does very well indeed. The pace has just dropped a touch in the last couple of minutes as both teams settle into a rhythm. It has been an even 19 minutes of international football here.

20 minCHANCE! Spain's best chance of the match falls to Thiago as the ball lands perfectly on the boot of the midfielder just outside the box, but his volley is wide of the post.

22 minPass, pass, pass from Belgium as they attempt to work some space in the final third, but Spain are well-drilled and Alba comes across to make the clearance. Very nice shape to his Spain side tonight.

24 minThis does not look good for Morata. He hits the deck holding his thigh.

25 minHold on, Thierry Henry is coming on for Belgium. Wait, what. No problem. Bad joke, but had to be made. Strange to see him in that dug-out. Seriously though, Morata is going to be replaced here.

27 minSPAIN SUB! Diego Costa replaces Morata.

29 minBelgium have started to force the issue once again as Hazard and De Bruyne continue to drift inside and look for the runs of Origi, who has been bright without making a serious impression. Spain, meanwhile, now have a different threat down the other end as Costa puts himself about.

29 minSuper defending from Lukaku there as Romelu's brother produces an excellent challenge on Vitolo, who was about to pull the trigger inside the box. Jordan has been impressive thus far tonight.

32 minCosta appears all arms and legs as he chases after the ball once again and guess who? Jordan Lukaku is on hand to mop up and clear the danger once again. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes as both defences continue to stand strong under the pressure.

34 minGOAL! Belgium 0-1 Spain (Silva)

35 minSpain make the breakthrough in the 34th minute of this match as Silva turns home from inside the box after Vitolo had rounded Courtois and put the ball into the danger zone. Costa almost took the chance away from Silva, but the Manchester City midfielder managed to squeeze it home!

36 minThiago volleys over the crossbar as Spain create another half-chance here.

38 minBelgium are struggling to offer a threat at the moment as Spain continue to boss the possession. There is one man controlling this game here and that is David Silva - he has been just brilliant.

41 minThe referee blows his whistle as a Spain corner comes into the Belgium box and everyone in the stadium is thinking penalty, or maybe just me. However, it is a free kick to the home side. You never know at the moment, especially if Mike Dean is somewhere in the stadium watching the shirt pulls!

42 minCarvajal goes down inside the Belgium box and wants a penalty. Referee says no chance!

44 minSilva looks to slide in Koke and Alderweireld has to come across and clear once again. Belgium just cannot deal with the pace of Spain's attack at the moment as we approach the half-time break.

45 min+1Just the one additional minute to be played at the end of the first period.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Belgium 0-1 Spain

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Spain leading 1-0 in Brussels courtesy of a 34th-minute goal from Silva, who found the back of the net after smart work from Vitolo. Belgium started on the front foot, but have really struggled to create clear opportunities.

8.37pmSTATISTICS! Spain have dominated the possession with 61%, but they have actually only had one shot on target and that brought the opening goal of the match. That said, Thiago has twice had good chances for the visitors, while Costa saw a goal-bound strike blocked late in the first period. Belgium, meanwhile, have only had one shot and that was an off-target attempt from Witsel.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH! This is a friendly, so both managers are expected to use their full allocation of substitutes. Among those that will be hoping to feature for Belgium are Batshuayi, Benteke, Dembele, Romelu Lukaku and Mirallas. Spain, meanwhile, have an embarrassment of riches on their bench with the likes of Asensio, Lucas, Juan Mata, Nolito, Alcacer and Saul Niguez all expected to play some part here.

8.45pmDavid Silva was comfortably the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes...

Spain's David Silva celebrates after scoring during the Group C Euro 2016 qualifying football match Luxembourg vs Spain at the Josy Barthel stadium in Luxembourg, on October 12, 2014.© Getty Images

46 minKICKOFF! Spain resume the action in Brussels...

46 min... BELGIUM SUB! Dembele replaces Nainggolan for the home team.

47 minDiego Costa has started the second period like a house on fire and has already had two strikes blocked en route to goal. The Chelsea forward looks very keen to make a point tonight.

48 minFree kick Spain just outside the Belgium box as Dembele fells Busquets...

49 min... SAVE! Wonderful save from Courtois as the Belgian goalkeeper somehow keeps out a close-range header from Pique. It is genuinely an outstanding stop there!

51 minBelgium are just not in this game at the moment as Spain continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Belgium have some outstanding players, but they are not a team. They were not a team at Euro 2016 and Roberto Martinez is finding it difficult to gel the players in this match.

53 minSpain have been very, very good tonight. They look more solid at the back and Silva is being allowed to roam all over the park. Costa, meanwhile, is causing so many problems in the final third.

56 minJust a reminder that both managers have already made one change tonight, but more are expected to follow in the next five or 10 minutes. Belgium just cannot get in this game as Spain continue to dominate possession of the ball. Silva's finish in the 34th minute remains the difference tonight.

57 minAlderweireld fouls Costa and Spain have another dangerous free kick...

57 min... Ramos's set piece hits the top of the wall and bounces over for a Spain corner.

58 minAnother half-chance for Pique as the centre-back meets a corner from the right, but his header is wide of the post. The visitors are preparing to make a couple of defensive changes here.

58 minSAVE! Costa breaks through on Courtois and the Belgium goalkeeper makes a brilliant save. They will be talking about that one in Chelsea training later this month!

59 minSPAIN SUBS! Bartra and Azpilicueta replace Pique and Alba.

61 minCosta is a difficult man to like at times. But there is no question that he has been brilliant since entering the field at the mid-point of the first period. Belgium just cannot get hold of the forward as he continues to use his pace and power in the final third. Belgium? They are struggling badly here.


62 minSpain have a penalty as Lukaku brings Vitolo to the ground inside the Belgium box!

62 minGOAL! Belgium 0-2 Spain (Silva, pen)

63 minSilva doubles Spain's lead from the penalty spot!

65 minAs good as Spain have been tonight, and they have, Belgium have been so poor. This is not what Roberto Martinez would have been looking for tonight. Get Thierry Henry on for last 25 please.

67 minBELGIUM SUB! Romelu Lukaku replaces Origi for the home side.

69 minLittle over 20 minutes of this friendly remaining and unless Belgium can produce something special, there are going to be some serious boos at the end of this match. Spain again break the lines as Costa races onto a through pass, but the offside flag is raised. Very close indeed there.

72 minVitolo turns inside the Belgium box and sets the ball back towards Koke, but Witsel just about manages to make the challenge and prevent his team falling further behind. Spain have been dominant since around the 25th minute of this match and there is no indication of that changing!

74 minRoberto Martinez barks out some orders from the touchline as Spain prepare a couple more changes. It has been the perfect night for Lopetegui so far, not so much for Martinez though.

75 minSPAIN SUBS! Saul and Lucas replace Vitolo and Silva for Spain.

77 minBELGIUM SUB! Mirallas replaces Carrasco for Everton.

79 minGlum faces in the Belgium crowd tonight as Spain continue to dominate possession with little over 10 minutes of this international friendly to play. Saul has a half-chance for the visitors after meeting a loose ball just inside the box, but his effort is wide of the post. Still 2-0 Spain with 79 played.

82 minNot an awful lot happening at the moment. Bit of possession for Belgium, but they are not going anywhere with it. I think I have just seen some Spain supporters doing the conga line, meanwhile.

84 minSAVE! De Gea has to stretch every inch of his frame to tip a De Bruyne effort over the crossbar. Finally something of note from Belgium, who have struggled so badly tonight.

85 minDe Bruyne curls just over the crossbar as Belgium finally wake up here.

85 minSPAIN SUB! Roberto replaces Carvajal for the home side.

87 minIn fairness to Belgium, this has been much better in the last five minutes or so. However, it has come far too late in terms of this match and it probably will not dampen the boos that are bound to arrive at the full-time whistle. Oh how Roberto Martinez could do with a late goal in this game.

88 minBELGIUM SUB! Defour replace De Bruyne for the home side.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes here.

90 min+3Hazard has started this season very well for Chelsea, but the Belgium captain has been poor tonight and he is not the only one. Spain continue to dominate deep into injury time here.

9.35pmFULL-TIME: Belgium 0-2 Spain

9.37pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Spain recording a 2-0 victory over Belgium courtesy of a double from David Silva. Great start to Julen Lopetegui's career as Spain boss, but tough night for Roberto Martinez. Thanks for joining me once again - until next time!

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Porto's Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui gestures from the touchline during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match between Chelsea and Porto at Stamford Bridge in London on December 9, 2015.
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