Belgium blunder as Boyata plays in Batshuayi shirt during qualifier

Belgium cruised to a 4-1 win over Russia in St Petersburg and two of their players were involved in a curious shirt mix-up
Belgium cruised to a 4-1 win over Russia in St Petersburg and two of their players were involved in a curious shirt mix-up

Belgium defender Dedryck Boyata bizarrely played in Michy Batshuayi's shirt for part of the Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia on Saturday.

Belgium won the match 4-1 to clinch top spot in Group I and substitute striker Batshuayi spent most of the contest on the bench, although onlookers spotted Boyata wearing his number 23 shirt at the start of the second half.

The mix-up was noticed by match officials around 10 minutes after the interval, and defender Boyata swapped to the correct shirt bearing his own name.

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Chelsea forward Batshuayi, who came on for the closing 13 minutes, joked on Twitter that Boyata had realised his dream. 

Boyata also saw the funny side, and the Hertha Berlin defender posted a picture of himself in the wrong top on Instagram, along with three laughter emojis.

While the mix-up turned heads on social media, Belgium proved far too strong on the pitch against Russia as they strolled to a comfortable 4-1 win. 

After Thorgan Hazard opened the scoring, his brother Eden scored a brace before half-time with Romelu Lukaku adding a fourth in the 72nd minute and Georgi Dzhikiya netting a late consolation goal for Russia.

Both nations have already booked their place at Euro 2020 with Belgium winning all nine of their qualifiers to date - scoring a tournament high 34 goals in the process. 

Russia meanwhile, have won seven of their nine games and will qualify as second place in Group I. 

Roberto Martinez's side will now round out qualifying against Cyprus at home on Tuesday as they look to claim a 10th straight win, while Russia will take on minnows San Marino. 

With Lukaku once again on the score sheet for the Red Devils, Martinez has stressed how much he's benefited from a move to Serie A.

“Inter want to compete for the title and they have given Romelu a goal," Martinez said last week. "And when Romelu sets a goal, I don’t know anyone who’s more focused than him. He’s obsessed with victory.

“Whether the criticism is good or bad, one thing will never change: Romelu will score. His quality as a striker is beyond question.

“He’s grown again since he made the transition to Inter. For the first time in his career he plays with a second striker next to him. And even if he’s getting used to it, he’s already scored nine goals." 

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