3:00 PM UTC
Match 16
Game Details
12:00 PM UTC
Match 15
Game Details
6:00 PM UTC
Match 17
Game Details
12:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
Match 19
Game Details
Saudi Arabia
3:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
Match 18
Game Details
6:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
Match 20
Game Details
Match 13
Game Details
 By Kevin Palmer

Eden Hazard: Give Belgium time

Eden Hazard insists expectations surrounding Belgium's World Cup chances need to be lowered.

- Van Walle: Belgium's duality clashes over chances

Many have backed the Red Devils to go far in this year's tournament, despite it being their first World Cup for 12 years.

However, they struggled to beat Algeria 2-1 in their opening match, and Hazard feels patience is needed when it comes to a side that has no experience of major international tournaments.

"This is all new for us, so taking one game at a time is all we can do," the Chelsea player told ahead of the Red Devils' second Group H game against Russia on Sunday. "With Belgium I think it's tough for anyone to make predictions

"We have a good team, that's clear. We are talented and we are young, but this is our first experience of the World Cup and who knows how far we can go? We don't know and neither does anyone else.

"All I can say is that we try every day to improve and to make our country proud, and that's what we will do again against Russia. They are a strong team and it will be another really big test for us, but winning our first match has given us confidence.

"I think we will go out there feeling good and relaxed and if we play to our best, I think the fans here will enjoy watching us."

Hazard struggled to make an impact in Belgium's opening World Cup clash, yet he insists that winning the game was all that mattered.

"I didn't find it easy," Hazard said. "It was difficult for all the midfielders and forwards, especially in the first half, to find the space to show what we can do.

"Then when Marouane [Fellaini] scored the equaliser, the game opened up more and we were able to show a little more of what we can bring as individuals and as a team. Hopefully you will see more of that kind of football from us in the games ahead.

"I can definitely play better and we can also play better as a group, but this was just a start for us, and we have won our first game, which we always felt would be the most important one.

"There's not much more we could ask. You know at a tournament like this that if you win the first game, you have a great chance of going through. Now we are in a good position at the top of the group and we want to do everything we can to stay there."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.