Brussels: Seven-time African champions Egypt bowed to Belgium 3-0 yesterday in their final friendly match before the World Cup in Russia.
Romelu Lukaku put Belgium ahead with a brilliant goal in the 27th minute before Eden Hazard doubled the lead in the 38th minute. Marouane Fellaini completed the lopsided win with a goal in the 90th minute.
Egypt will kick off their World Cup campaign on June 16 against Uruguay, then face hosts Russia on June 19. Their final Group A match will be against Saudi Arabia on June 25.
Egypt’s injured star Mohamed Salah is due to join his teammates in Cairo in the coming days ahead of travelling to Russia on June 10 to make their first World Cup appearance since 1990, when they were eliminated at the group stage.
Liverpool star Salah missed Egypt’s current camp after picking up a shoulder injury in the Premier League club’s 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League final on May 26.
In Schwechat, Austria, Nigeria suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic in their final friendly ahead of the World Cup.
Defender Tomas Kalas, fresh from helping Fulham win promotion to the English Premier League, scored the only goal of the game in the first half in Schwechat, just outside Vienna.
Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles had already lost 2-1 to England at Wembley last weekend, while the Czechs – who failed to qualify for the World Cup – had lost 4-0 to Australia in their previous friendly outing.
Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in a testing Group D in Russia, with their World Cup opener against Croatia in Kaliningrad on June 16.
They will be based in Yessentuki, by the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia.
Bournemouth’s Joshua King scored the only goal as Norway defeated Panama 1-0.