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Slovenia fightback dents Belgium hopes

Published: Friday 3 September 2010, 18.01CET
Slovenia 2-2 Belgium
The Red Devils will have to cling to slim hopes of going through as one of four-best runners-up after missing their chance to top Group 8.
by Grega Sever
from Ob Jezeru
Slovenia fightback dents Belgium hopes
Slovenia's Etien Velikonja (white strip) has a shot on goal ©Grega Wernig
Published: Friday 3 September 2010, 18.01CET

Slovenia fightback dents Belgium hopes

Slovenia 2-2 Belgium
The Red Devils will have to cling to slim hopes of going through as one of four-best runners-up after missing their chance to top Group 8.

Belgium's hopes of winning Group 8 took a blow as they let a two-goal lead slip away to Slovenia in their final UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier.

Ukraine were held 2-2 by France giving Belgium a chance of moving two points ahead, with their rivals still having to play Slovenia on Tuesday. But like Ukraine, Belgium saw a 2-0 lead disappear and will now finish second.

An eventful first half included red cards for Slovenia's Jovan Vidovič on 27 minutesand Belgium's Radja Nainggolan 14 minutes later, while home substitute Dejan Lazarevič was also dismissed in the final minute. In between Slovenia staged a sterling fightback.

With the match reduced to ten a side, Belgium took the lead just before half-time when Joachim Mununga gave a super Benjamin Mokulu Tembe pass the finish it deserved. Things were looking good for the visitors when Joeri Dequevy doubled the lead on the hour, although Slovenia were back in it three minutes later when captain Rene Mihelič scored from the spot following Brecht Capon's handball.

The comeback was complete in the 81st minute, Rajko Rep's long ball over the Belgium back line collected by substitute Haris Vučkič who expertly lobbed Simon Mignolet from the edge of the box.

"I'm very disappointed," said Belgium coach Jean-François De Sart. "We had the initiative and control of the game until the penalty. Even after that we created quite a lot of chances without taking any. We had a chance to win the group today." Slovenia counterpart Tomaž Kavčič added: "I think we gave the spectators something to remember."

Last updated: 27/03/13 4.43CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2011/matches/round=2000006/match=2000208/postmatch/report/index.html#slovenia+back+belgium

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