June 14, 2002, Shizuoka, group H
The Red Devils led by Marc Wilmots and Gert Verheyen play with the knife to the throat. They took only two points from their first two games against home country Japan and Tunisia and have to beat the Russians to go to the second round. With goals from Johan Walem (magnificent free kick), substitute Wesley Sonck and Wilmots, the Devils make it 3-2. The Russians must go home. The Belgians have no idea that this would be the start of a world record series.
June 17, 2014, Belo Horizonte, group H
After twelve years of absence from the World Cup, the nerves in the Brazilian Belo Horizonte are tense. Even more so if the Devils fall behind against Algeria after 25 minutes. It is precisely the substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens who ultimately ensure the 2-1 victory. Oof.
June 22, 2014, Rio de Janeiro, Group H
The match is known as the breakthrough of Divock Origi, at the time only 19 years old and surprisingly included in the selection by national coach Marc Wilmots. In the final phase with a 0-0 on the board, the young attacker takes a dribble and releases Eden Hazard, who blasts in hard. 1-0 and the Red Devils are already certain of the next round.
Belgium-South Korea 1-0
June 26, 2014, Sao Paolo, group H
There is nothing more at stake for the Red Devils. They are even certain of the group win and national coach Marc Wilmots mainly has players who did not play in the first two games. Steven Defour gets a red card in the first half and Anthony Vanden Borre breaks his fibula. A lot of misfortune, but Jan Vertonghen still manages to score.
June 18, 2018, Socchi, group G
During the first group match at the World Cup in Russia four years later, things are a bit difficult in the first half against Panama, debutant at a World Cup. Romelu Lukaku is the bitten dog, because he is not good in the match. After the break, Dries Mertens breaks the spell with a great goal and Lukaku adds two more. Good start.
June 23, 2018, Moscow, Group G
The Red Devils are completely loose, at their very best. They play the Tunisians from pillar to post and Lukaku and Eden Hazard each score twice. Two games far and just like four years earlier, the Red Devils are certain of the second round.
28 June 2018, Kaliningrad, Group G
What a strange match. A match that neither country, Belgium and England are both sure of the second round, can best win. Because that means that you get to the difficult half of the table and can meet top countries such as Brazil and France in the next round. Adnan Januzaj does not play the game and scores the 1-0. Belgium is on the difficult half, England on the easy. Both countries will only die in the semi-finals.
November 23, 2022, Doha, Group F
Today the question is still how the Devils could win this first match at the World Cup in Qatar. They play a weak game and the Canadians, only for the second time at a World Cup, are much better. But they don’t score and Michy Batshuayi does. That means eight victories in the group stage in a row. One more win and the Belgians will become world record holders alone.