Belgium beat Saudis in preparatory match

First-timers Belgium beat Saudi Arabia, who are ranked 22 places above them, in a preparatory match in Netherlands on Thursday.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 13:25 IST

Belgium scored a goal in each half and overcame an own-goal to beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 on Thursday, the Middle Eastern side's first game in its final preparation for the World Cup.

FC Utrecht's Tom Caluwe put Belgium ahead in the third minute, beating two defenders and pushing the ball past Saudi keeper Mohammed Al Deayea.

The Saudis got their only goal in the 30th when Belgian midfielder Bart Goor deflected a free kick from Nawaf Al Temyat past his own keeper, Stijn Stijnen.

Anderlecht's Anthony Vanden Borre put the Belgians ahead for good in the 55th minute with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. The Saudis pressed for the equalizer but Stijnen assured a win for the Belgians.

Saudi Arabia ranked 34th by FIFA, 22 places ahead of Belgium. It plays Spain, Ukraine and Tunisia in Group H.

Belgium, which failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1978, used the game to test several new players ahead of Euro 2008 qualifying, which begins in August.

The Asians will also play Togo and the Czech Republic over the next two weeks.

First Published: May 12, 2006 13:25 IST