Belgium 2 Czech Republic 1: Fellaini header the difference

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Substitute Marouane Fellaini's second-half header saw Belgium record a 2-1 win over Czech Republic in Monday's international friendly at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.

The home side's preparations for the game were disrupted by Eden Hazard fracturing his ankle in training, but the Chelsea star's misfortune did not stop Michy Batshuayi from opening the scoring midway through the first half after a strong start.

Sloppy play from Kevin De Bruyne allowed Michal Krmencik to level the scoring shortly after, but Fellaini eventually delivered the hosts the win with a powerful 52nd-minute header.

Roberto Martinez's men will be looking to build on their victory when they take on Estonia on Friday in Group H of the World Cup qualification. They sit first in their section with 13 points from five games, two points clear of second-placed Greece.

Czech Republic, meanwhile, take on Norway on Saturday in Group C, with Karel Jarolim's side third in their group behind Germany and Northern Ireland.

Belgium made an encouraging start to the game and Romelu Lukaku had two chances to break the deadlock in the opening 15 minutes, first forcing goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik into a low save with a firm header, before steering another against the upright from just two yards after Toby Alderweireld had directed De Bruyne's cross into his path.

And the hosts got the goal they deserved when Batshuayi netted in the 25th minute, the Chelsea striker beating Vaclik with a calm finish from just inside the area after being set up by Lukaku and shrugging off Tomas Kalas.

But Belgium's lead did not last long as Krmencik levelled the scoring a mere five minutes later after some poor play from De Bruyne, who clumsily lost the ball to Ladislav Krejci inside his own area after an attempt to build play from the back.

The visitors came close to going 2-1 up 10 minutes before the half-time whistle when promising youngster Patrik Schick hit the upright with a low shot from 15 yards out.

Martinez's men made a strong start to the second half and Kevin Mirallas almost restored his side's lead when he forced substitute goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka into a save early on.

There was no denying Belgium soon after, however, as Fellaini beat Pavlenka with a trademark header from fellow half-time substitute Dries Mertens' corner.

Borek Dockal threatened a number of times as the away side went in search of an equaliser, but the attacking midfielder failed to find a way past Thibaut Courtois, while Tomas Soucek was frustrated by the woodwork as Belgium held on for a narrow win.