Julen Lopetegui makes winning start with his Spain's 2-0 victory over Belgium

Julen Lopetegui makes winning start with his Spain's 2-0 victory over Belgium

David Silva scored twice as new Spain coach Julen Lopetegui made a winning start with a deserved 2-0 friendly victory over Roberto Martinez's Belgium.

Silva found the bottom left corner for the first-half opener before converting a penalty after the break to send his manager home happy on a miserable night for Martinez and his new team.

The away side should really have won by a bigger margin, while the hosts, who were outplayed and rarely threatened to score, were booed on numerous occasions by the frustrated Brussels crowd.

Lopetegui, who replaced Vicente del Bosque after Euro 2016, suffered a setback in the 27th minute when Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata limped off injured clutching his right thigh to be replaced by Chelsea's Diego Costa.

His side were dominating possession though and he was soon smiling again as they took a merited 34th-minute lead.

Sevilla winger Vitolo raced on to Dani Carvajal's pass and rounded goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on the right before pulling the ball back for Silva to strike home a low left-footed shot.

Belgium, captained by Eden Hazard in the continued absence of Vincent Kompany, were struggling to make an impact on the game and could have fallen further behind when Bayern Munich man Thiago volleyed into the ground and over after being picked out by the lively Vitolo.

It was a concerning first-half display from the hosts as they appeared frail at the back and unable to break out of their own half for large periods.

The pattern of play continued after the restart and Spain would have doubled their advantage but for a fine save from Courtois to deny Gerard Pique's header from a Koke free-kick.

Belgium's supporters were not impressed with what they were seeing and disapproving jeers came from the stands of the King Baudouin Stadium when an attempted cross from defender Jordan Lukaku was badly miscued behind for a goal-kick.

Courtois was keeping his team in the game and he had to be alert just before the hour mark to repel a low effort from Costa after the forward broke into the penalty area on the right.

Lazio left-back Lukaku then made another mistake, upending Vitolo in the penalty area to allow Silva to send Courtois the wrong way from the spot and claim his second of the night.

Kevin De Bruyne came close to halving the deficit late on but the Red Devils were well beaten, prompting more whistles at full-time and leaving ex-Everton boss Martinez and his assistant manager Thierry Henry with plenty of work to do ahead of their World Cup qualifying campaign.


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