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Soccer-Mertens salvages win for dominant Belgium over Slovakia

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - A 90th-minute strike by midfielder Dries Mertens salvaged a 2-1 win for dominant Belgium over Slovakia in an international friendly on Wednesday.

An early Eden Hazard penalty was the slim reward for Belgium, who had two-thirds of the possession in the first half, in a match which with Hazard's flicks and back-heels had begun to feel like an exhibition.

Slovakia, livelier in the second half, finally found an equaliser in the 87th minute when a failed Belgian clearance let Richard Lasik drive in from just outside the penalty area.

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots and many in the Bruges crowd had their heads in their hands but Mertens then stepped up. He swept in from the left and found the corner with a right-foot winner in the final minute of normal time. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by John Mehaffey)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130206/soccer-mertens-salvages-win-dominant-belgium-over-slovakia