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WORLD CUP HISTORY Belgium
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
13
WORLD CUP RECORD
14-9-18
BEST FINISH
Fourth Place (1986)
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
52 (15th)
Belgium’s 3-0 loss to the United States and France’s 4-1 victory over Mexico, both played simultaneously, were the first games in World Cup history. Belgium’s other match at the 1930 World Cup was a 1-0 loss to Paraguay.
The 1934 World Cup was a single-elimination format. Belgium’s First Round foe, Germany, prevailed 5-2 and went on to place third in the tournament. After Belgium failed to score a goal in 1930, Bernard Voorhoof found the back of the net twice against Germany.
Belgium was one of four countries to participate in the three World Cups that preceded World War II, joining France, Brazil and Romania. However, the 1938 World Cup concluded with Belgium remaining winless.
1942
1946
World Cup Not Held
Did Not Participate
A matchup with England produced Belgium’s first point in a World Cup tournament. After playing to a 3-3 tie through regulation, each team scored a goal in extra time to finish in a 4-4 draw. Belgium followed up the performance with a 4-1 loss to Italy.
1958
1966
Did Not Participate
Belgium’s first match of the 1970 World Cup was a 3-0 victory over El Salvador, its first win in World Cup play. A 4-1 loss to the Soviet Union and a 1-0 loss to hosting Mexico ensued.
1974
1978
Did Not Participate
Belgium improved its all-time World Cup win total from one to three in 1982, going 2-1-0 in the Group Stage. The results included 1-0 victories over Argentina and El Salvador, and a 1-1 draw against Hungary. The Second Round wasn’t as kind though, as Belgium suffered shutout losses to Poland and the Soviet Union.
FINISH
4th
Success continued four years later, as Belgium’s 1-1-1 record placed it in the Knockout Stage. A Round of 16 victory over the Soviet Union was followed up with a narrow victory over Spain. Belgium then lost to Argentina in the Semi-finals and to France in the third-place game.
Belgium finished second in its group in 1990, posting a 2-0-1 record. Its stay in the Knockout Stage was a short one though, as Belgium lost 1-0 to England, the eventual fourth-place team.
The 1994 World Cup saw another trip to the Knockout Stage, and another Round of 16 exit as well. The team’s 2-0-1 record and +1 goal difference matched the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, but Belgium took third in the group with the fewest goals for. In the Round of 16, Belgium fell 3-2 to Germany.
Belgium drew with each of its Group Stage opponents, but the 0-3-0 record did not garner enough points to move on to the Knockout Stage. The Netherlands, which Belgium tied 0-0, ultimately finished in fourth place in the tournament
After draws against Japan and Tunisia, Belgium was on track to again finish 0-3-0 and likely miss the Knockout Stage. But a 3-2 victory over Russia advanced the team to the Round of 16, where Belgium lost 2-0 to eventual champ Brazil.
2006
2010
Did Not Participate
Belgium swept its Group Stage opponents and advanced out of the Round of 16 with a 2-1 victory over the United States. In the Quarter-finals, the team lost 1-0 to Argentina, which went on to finish runner-up.
Belgium became one of the first countries to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It finished 9-1-0 in its UEFA group, scoring 43 goals while allowing just six.

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