International breaks are always seen as the low moments in the football calendar, but Belgium and Mexico managed to put on a show on Friday night.
The two nations, both of whom will feature at next year’s World Cup in Russia, played out a highly entertaining 3-3 draw in Brussels.
Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku grabbed the goals for Belgium - Lukaku’s brace seeing him become the Red Devils’ joint all-time leading goalscorer which, at the age of 24, is mightily impressive.
Andres Guardado and Hirving Lozano, who also scored twice, were on the scoresheet for Mexico.
Who said the international break can’t offer excitement?
Lozano did his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in football no harm. The 22-year-old, who has been on fire for PSV Eindhoven this season, scoring nine goals in nine Eredivisie appearances, was involved in all three goals.
He certainly figures to play an important part for Mexico in Russia.
Premier League stars were on show
The Premier League was well represented in Friday’s clash, with Lukaku and Hazard only a couple of names on show.
Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Javier Hernandez were all in action, with Divock Origi also making a brief cameo.
Of course, their club managers won’t have been entirely pleased to see them play - especially Jose Mourinho, who has already watched one of his Belgians, Marouane Fellaini, suffer an injury on international duty this season - but these games are crucial heading into a World Cup year.
And playing in friendlies removes all the pressure that comes with playing in the biggest club matches week in, week out.
Watch: Hazard embarrasses the linesman
Hazard seemed to relish this opportunity. The Chelsea winger, who enjoys embarrassing defenders, managed to leave the linesman on his backside with a cool reverse pass.
Check out the linesman at the top of the screen as Hazard breaks his ankles.
Watch: Hazard's brilliant highlights v Mexico
Belgium have failed to live up to their reputation as dark horses in recent years - their exit at the hands of Argentina in the quarter-finals the 2014 World Cup wasn’t surprising, but last year’s defeat at the same stage to Wales at the European Championship was disappointing - yet, with a squad packed full of stars, the Red Devils will wear that same tag next year in Russia.
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