Kazakhstan 2-2 Belgium
Belgium will be ruing missed chances after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Kazakhstan in Almaty. The draw means that Belgium's chances of qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2008 championship in Austria and Switzerland are all but over.
Belgium began in superb fashion when they were 2-0 up within no time at all. Goals from Karel Geraerts and Kevin Mirallas were excellent in front of the goal as they propelled Belgium to a commanding lead within 24 minutes in the first half.
The first goal came on 13 minutes when Geraerts received a neat cross from Kevin Mirallas and put it beyond the reach of Kazakh keeper David Loria. Mirallas then took the star role himself and collected a rebound off the post to shoot the ball home in the 24th minute. At 2-0 things looked rosy for Belgium.
However Kazakhstan midfielder Dmitry Byakov had other ideas. He pulled a goal back to keep his side in the game on 39 minutes when Belgian goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen was left helpless in face of a powerful shot from a close range.
The goal appeared to stun Belgium who spent much of the second period in their own half. They paid for their defensive stance when Zhumaskaliyev was adjudged to have been fouled by Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini. Smakov made no mistake from the resulting penalty earning a point for Kazakhstan, while at the same time extinguishing Belgian qualification hopes.
Belgium are on the fifth spot in Group A with 11 points from ten matches, while Kazakhstan are on the seventh spot with 7 points from ten games.
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