MATCHDAY: Belgium eyes defensive improvement vs. Poland

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A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:


Belgium hosts Poland in the wake of a 4-1 home loss to bitter rivals the Netherlands. The defeat, the first in 25 years against the Dutch, has raised questions about the Red Devils' commitment to the tournament. But coach Roberto Martinez was quick to dismiss accusations of Belgium lacking desire. Martinez said his players actually covered more distance than the opposition but did not play with the proper defensive intensity off the ball. “Did the team care, did the team want to play? I think the physical output gives you the clear answer," Martinez said Tuesday, adding that the match was more balanced than the score suggests. Belgium will be missing injured striker Romelu Lukaku against Poland, which beat an understrength Wales team 2-1 in its opening match. After leading Wales to its first World Cup since 1958 using first-choice players against Ukraine on Sunday, coach Rob Page is expected to revert to an experimental team against the Netherlands in Cardiff. Also, Scotland hosts Armenia and Ukraine travels to Ireland.


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The Associated Press

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