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De Bruyne stars in Belgium triumph

Kevin De Bruyne fired Belgium to a 3-1 win over Israel that sends them to the top of FIFA’s World rankings.

The new set of rankings are set to be released on November 5, and the Belgian Red Devils will top the charts courtesy of their victory in Brussels on Tuesday night, coupled with recent defeats for Germany and Argentina.

Belgium had already qualified for next summer’s Euros, but Marc Wilmots still named a strong side including both De Bruyne and City captain Vincent Kompany.

The summer signing took his club form to the international stage and was at the centre of everything that his side did in the attacking third on a dominant night for Wilmots’ men.

Meanwhile, Kompany wore the armband and came through the first 57 minutes unscathed before being withdrawn. It was a comfortable night for the captain, who was able to ease through the game with the visitors rarely troubling his well-organised defence.

Belgium were dominant throughout the first 45 minutes but couldn’t find the goal their football deserved. Dries Mertens somehow missed an open goal from De Bruyne’s dangerous cross, while Romelu Lukaku also miscued after being set up by the City man.

Kompany tried his luck with a long range effort from distance that wasn’t far over the cross bar, while Israel did hit the post from a free kick but it was all square at the break.

However, the hosts made their class pay in the second half – and Blues will be licking their lips at the display of De Bruyne, who had his covering defenders tying themselves in knots to try and prevent him from getting past them.

It was his ball from left that reached Dries Mertens shortly after the hour, and the Napoli man twisted his way into shooting position and fired beyond the keeper to open the scoring.

Kevin’s all round performance deserved a goal, and he finally got on the scoresheet himself after 78 minutes with a free kick that sailed over the wall and beat the keeper at the near post.

Eden Hazard added some gloss with a third in the last ten minutes, and although Israel did grab a consolation goal  late on via the head of Tomer Hemed, they rarely looked like threatening Belgium’s designs on the world no.1 spot.

Holland failed to turn around their disastrous campaign and will not be present at the Euros next summer, which means Belgium will be seeded alongside England when the finals draw is made in December.  

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