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Belgium ease to victory over Australia

Belgium have defeated Australia 2-0 in an international friendly on Thursday night.

Marc Wilmots' Rode Duivels scored in either half at the Stade Maurice-Dufrasne in Liege to ease to a fairly comfortable victory over Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos.

Napoli winger Dries Mertens opened the scoring in the 18th minute when he scuffed home a rebound from Kevin de Bruyne's initial effort which deflected back off the woodwork.

The Belgians doubled their lead in the 77th minute when Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel broke down Socceroos keeper Mat Ryan's resistance with a stunning half-volley.

Australia continually frustrated the fifth-ranked Belgians with Club Brugge number one Ryan in great form and they came close to equalising in the first half only to see Tim Cahill's effort brilliantly kept out by Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.

The Socceroos handed debuts to Chris Herd and Trent Sainsbury while Liverpool's Brad Smith came off the bench just hours after having his international clearance come through.

Belgium started with the likes of Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Kevin Mirallas before bringing on the promising likes of Adnan Januzaj and Nacer Chadli in the second half.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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