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Mertens strikes late as Belgium sink Tunisia

Published: Sunday 8 June 2014, 1.34CET
Belgium 1-0 Tunisia
Dries Mertens struck a minute from time after Tunisia had lost Issam Jemâa to a red card, as the Red Devils secured another warm-up win.
Mertens strikes late as Belgium sink Tunisia
Dries Mertens (right) is mobbed by his Belgium team-mates ©AFP
 
Published: Sunday 8 June 2014, 1.34CET

Mertens strikes late as Belgium sink Tunisia

Belgium 1-0 Tunisia
Dries Mertens struck a minute from time after Tunisia had lost Issam Jemâa to a red card, as the Red Devils secured another warm-up win.

A late Dries Mertens goal earned Belgium a 1-0 victory against ten-man Tunisia as the FIFA World Cup hopefuls continued their preparations for Brazil 2014 with another triumph.

Having recently overcome Luxembourg and Sweden, the Red Devils gave another indication of their promising form in a match delayed for 45 minutes during the first half due to a hailstorm. After the game resumed, Tunisia lost Issam Jemâa to a red card, and Mertens made the difference a minute from time.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots fielded Divock Origi up front against the team helmed by his predecessor, Georges Leekens, and Origi attempted a shot on goal after 13 minutes that was comfortably saved by Farouk Ben Mustapha. That came shortly after the goalkeeper had batted away a Kevin Mirallas free-kick, but Belgium's probing was interrupted when the match had to be stopped in the 23rd minute.

Mirallas dragged an effort wide after being sent clear by Eden Hazard when play finally resumed, yet the encounter was short on incidents thereafter until Jemâa was shown a second yellow card shortly after the hour mark. Wilmots' side promptly ramped up their pressure, with Jan Vertonghen unleashing two strikes from distance and Mertens having a goal ruled out.

Anthony Vanden Borre whistled a header just wide six minutes from time, but Mertens made sure that the Red Devils will head to Brazil with another win under their belts. Nacer Chadli picked out the SSC Napoli winger with a clever pass, and he calmly found the net with a shot into the far corner.

Last updated: 11/06/14 13.50CET

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