Costa Rica vs. Belgium
|Date & Time||Monday June 11, 2018, 2:45 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Belgium -800 / Draw +650 / Costa Rica +1600 -- Over/Under: 3.5
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We have some international friendly soccer action on Monday as Belgium hosts Costa Rica in both team’s respective final World Cup tune-up games from the King Baudouin Stadium.
Belgium comes into their final exhibition as one of the hotter teams heading into the 2018 edition, unbeaten in their last 18 matches, winning 13 of them including a 3-0 victor over fellow tournament team Egypt in a friendly last Wednesday. Romelu Lukaku gave the Belgians the 1-0 advantage 27 minutes in and just 11 minutes later, Eden Hazard doubled that lead and it stayed that way until Marouane Fellaini put home a 3rd goal late into 2nd half stoppage time for the final nail in the proverbial coffin. Belgium owned 58% possession, heavily outshooting the Egyptians by a final margin of 20-7 with 9 shots on target to Egypt’s 1.
Costa Rica on the other hand, comes into this one with a mixed bag of results as of late, alternating wins and losses in their last 5 matches, including a 2-0 loss to England in their last outing this past Thursday. Costa Rica were dominated from a possession standpoint, holding the ball for just 37% of the match, while being outshot by England 10-8 and 6-3 in terms of shots on goal.
These two sides have only met once back in 2002, with Belgium coming up with a 1-0 victory.
It makes sense that Costa Rica would load up the end of their friendly schedule with some heavy European opposition as Los Ticos will run into Serbia and Switzerland in the group stage. However, I think that not only Serbia and Switzerland are on the same or a higher tier than England, but Belgium are as well. And while I think this match will give Costa Rica an idea of what to expect from European sides in the World Cup, I think Belgium will prove to be too much, which is why I’ll back the Belgians on the -1.5 handicap.