Kevin De Bruyne was named participant of the match in Belgium’s 1-0 win in opposition to Canada of their World Cup opener on Wednesday, however he was not sure why.
Belgium had been second-best for giant elements of the Group F contest at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, with Thibaut Courtois having to avoid wasting a penalty from Alphonso Davies earlier than Michy Batshuayi scored what proved to be the winner.
De Bruyne lower a annoyed determine as little got here off for him on the evening, and he was as confused as anybody as to why he had been awarded participant of the match.
“I don’t assume I performed an excellent sport, I don’t know why I received the trophy – possibly due to my title,” he stated at a post-match press convention.
“We simply didn’t play nicely as a group, particularly within the first half.
“We began actually badly, the momentum was with Canada and we couldn’t break by way of the press. I feel there was extra space than we thought.
“I don’t assume we performed sport, me included, however we discovered a solution to win.”
De Bruyne accomplished simply 23 of his 33 passes (70 per cent), although did nonetheless create 4 probabilities, three greater than any of his team-mates.
“After I noticed the best way we performed I believed we had been taking part in lengthy an excessive amount of, there was extra space,” he added when requested a few confrontation with Toby Alderweireld instantly after the purpose within the first half.
“You need to entice the urgent, play quick and cross that line, however I don’t assume we had been courageous sufficient to seek out that place.
“At half-time we cleared it up and issues are OK, no laborious emotions with Toby.”
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez additionally acknowledged his group had not performed nicely, however praised them for getting the three factors.
He urged it was not a coincidence they had been in a position to win a sport by which they had been removed from their finest, having simply 9 photographs to Canada’s 22.
When requested at his post-game press convention whether or not it was his group’s worst sport at a significant match, he stated: “It relies upon what you measure to say ‘worst’.
“Was it technically the worst? Sure. Was it the worst sport? No, as a result of it’s a win in a World Cup.
“Successful if you don’t play nicely doesn’t occur by chance. We needed to present a unique facet to our play; we defended very well.
“You noticed frustration as a result of the gamers care.
“Enormous respect to Canada’s efficiency. We knew they had been direct and aggressive… however I don’t assume it meant we didn’t should win.
“We gave Canada the sport they needed, we made the pitch too large… all in all Canada had been higher, however I feel we discovered a solution to deserve the win.”