Football

Christian Benteke scores twice as Belgium beat USA

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Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke bagged a brace as Belgium beat USA 4-2 in a friendly in Cleveland.

There was plenty of Premier League talent on show but it was Belgium, ranked 15th in the FIFA World rankings that came out on top.

Belgium started strongly and took the lead after just six minutes after Everton's Kevin Mirallas delicately chipped over his club team mate Tim Howard.

However, the lead didn't last long when Stoke City's Geoff Cameron headed in from close range after a corner.

The teams went into the half-time level but Belgium turned on the style after the interval.

Christian Benteke scored his first goal of the game after ten minutes of the second half. Kevin De Bruyne capitalised on poor defending to square for the Villa striker who made no mistake.

Another Premier League star got on the score sheet shortly after when Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini headed in at the back post to give Belgium a two-goal cushion.

Within five minutes Belgium had wrapped up the victory when Benteke slotted past substitute goalkeeper, and Villa team mate Brad Guzan, after a Steven Defour pass.

Jurgen Klinsmann's side managed to grab a consolation goal from the penalty spot with Tottenham's Clint Dempsey converting to make the scoreline more respectable.

It doesn't get any easier for USA with a friendly against Germany on Sunday before World Cup Qualifiers in June against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras.

The USA are third in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying a face a battle to qualify for Rio next summer.

However, the impressive Belgium are on course to qualify for the World Cup as they top their group, ahead of Croatia on goal difference.

 

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