Belgium’s Eden Hazard drew criticism for saying his country’s team was better four years ago in pre-match press availability.
After a 2-0 loss to underdog Morocco on Sunday, his comments look prophetic.
Following a listless first half from both sides, Abdelhamid Sabiri scored in the 73rd minute. The Sampdoria midfielder squeezed a free kick from an impossible angle between Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and his right post. The tally was the first goal from a direct free kick at the World Cup. (Morocco nearly had one in first-half stoppage time, too. Hakim Ziyech’s vicious left-footed free kick eluded Courtois, but a VAR check showed Romain Saïss in an offside position.)