A team made up of Premier League leading lights, with players coveted across the continent and a work-in-progress being prepared for future success. But that's enough about the Belgians, how about Roy Hodgson's England?
Tactically rigid, hard to beat and playing on the break is an approach that will be familiar to fans of Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and may conjure bad memories among followers of Liverpool. But that has always been Roy's plan, and he is sticking to it. Those who crave fireworks should watch Her Majesty's Jubilee celebrations.
After a trio of injury withdrawals and the decimation of his midfield options, Hodgson would be forgiven for not even wanting to play this fixture. But he had to. It was played in front of what may be England's last sell-out crowd for some time. Only a thirtieth of the 90,000 at Wembley are expected to travel to Ukraine, such are the problems and costs of getting to Donetsk and Kiev. With the news that Gary Cahill faces a scan on a suspected broken jaw as does John Terry on a tight hamstring then Hodgson could offer further curses of his bad luck.
"We're running out of standby players. I'm sure we will find one," he exasperated. It was time to concentrate on the positives, and Hodgson could point to the performance of his chosen frontman.
Following the utilisation of Andy Carroll in Oslo, Danny Welbeck seized on the chance to show he can understudy while Wayne Rooney cools his suspended heels for the opening two matches of Euro 2012 and perhaps continue to lead the line once his colleague can play. Welbeck, having not played for over a month, saw much of the first half pass him by, until his moment arrived in the 37th minute.
England had been pegged back by Belgium's neat passing and aggressive pressing when Ashley Young confirmed his growing comfort in playing off the striker, when threading through to his club colleague. Welbeck's finish may have booked him a starting place ahead of Carroll. It appears that in attack, Hodgson does have options after all. That Welbeck took his sole chance of the first half so coolly was a glimpse of finishing class, and suggested that he is not merely a workhorse front-man in the Emile Heskey mould that some have already placed him in.
As this was the last friendly before the tournament, Hodgson's time for experimentation is at an end. He has had just over 180 minutes to road test his new charges. We are soon to find out if the best preparation is no preparation. For someone as supposedly technocratic as Hodgson, such little time might seem anathema, whereas Harry Redknapp might be considered more the type to effect quick change.
And that should be the last mention of Redknapp, though it surely won't be. Hodgson is the man in possession and leeway needs to be afforded. The evidence of the Norway and Belgium matches is that more experimentation time might not have been needed anyway. Hodgson's team were always going to play this way.
"In terms of the shape of the side defensively, we haven't done too badly," said Hodgson before admitting, "we need to do work on our shape offensively."
Such is the lessening of expectation, that a quarter-final exit would be seen by most as a decent foundation for development ahead of the next World Cup. And the staging of the 2014 tournament in Brazil should mean a further lowering of expectation, and almost an abandoning of hope, since only Brazil and Spain have ever won a World Cup outside their own continent.
Just as the FA did in choosing Hodgson, England played it safe. Very safe. A bank of three midfielders patrolled in front of the back four, and the chances for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to shine were scant. Two untimely slips in the opening moments saw the young Gunner beating the turf in frustration. Perhaps he realised such chances would not come his way again.
And that looks to be the way of Hodgson's England. Shape and solidity are supplied to the detriment of creativity and verve. It is an approach that might just work to achieve that stated aim of the last eight. Beyond that, then hopes will be far more limited.
"It would have been nice if the competition was starting in two weeks rather than on Monday week," said Hodgson in reference to the injuries, aches and agues that his squad are suffering. But even if the tournament were delayed for a year, we should all know what to expect from Roy's England.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Joleon Lescott - Introduced as an early substitute for Gary Cahill, Lescott linked well with John Terry, as England held firm defensively and reduced Belgium to pot-shots. He was detailed with marking the Marouane Fellani at set pieces, and that the Everton man rarely got on the end of set pieces said much for Lescott's application.
ENGLAND VERDICT: Solid and uninspiring, yet effective too. Their goal came against the run of play, but once they had it, Belgium's threat lessened as the midfield was locked down. Steven Gerrard's discipline in that area is worthy of special mention. In his manager's words, he "encapsulated" the hard work of the central trio.
BELGIUM VERDICT: We perhaps glimpsed why they will not be at Euro 2012. Technically proficient, and with neat interchanging passing, yet end product would appear to be a continuing issue. And what of Hazard? He is a player of undoubted class, and somewhat reminiscent of Wesley Sneijder in his flits across the forward line. He perhaps is not yet suited to playing in the No. 10 position.
FOR BELGIAN FRIENDS: An absolutely excellent turn-out by supporters from the Low Countries. London does have a significant Belgian population but it was still quite an effort for those who made their way across the Channel on a busy Jubilee and Epsom Derby weekend, which may have meant that accommodation was at a premium. They made quite a racket and staged a Mexican wave. Or perhaps a Mechelen wave in their case.
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