Belgium vs. Scotland, Half-time score 0-0 as Red Devils dominate but Scots survive

Scotland have Allen MacGregor to thank after they somehow emerged unscathed from a half of football played almost entirely in their own half as Belgium dominated the first 45 minutes.

The Scottish keeper was hard at work throughout the half, keeping out several Belgian efforts on goal, with a double save to keep out the lively Dries Mertens, before having to dive out to stop Nacer Chadli, as the Red Devils tore a static Scotland defence apart.

Axel Witsel was the main creative force in midfield, but it was Mertens who shone brightest, and almost created the opening goal, pulling the ball back for Christian Benteke, but the Aston Villa striker could not react quickly enough to turn the ball home.

Seconds later, Scotland almost took a shock lead - after receiving a free-kick during a rare foray into the Belgian half, Shaun Maloney curled a superb effort at the top corner. The Wigan midfielder couldn't have hit the ball any better, but the giant frame of Thibaut Courtois kept the ball out despite using his 'wrong' hand to do so.

Belgium continued to pour forward afterwards, with Chadli once again going within inches of scoring after curling a shot past the far post, before MacGregor had to be alert once again to keep out Moussa Dembele's low drive. The Scots soon had a free-kick again, with Maloney once more testing Courtois' reactions, the Belgium keeper forced to dive low to push his shot around the post.

Scotland are extremely fortunate to go in with the scores level, but must offer something else in the second half if they are to progress - only a win here will do them any good, and they have offered nothing in open play so far. For Belgium, it looks only a matter of time before they find a way through.

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