Marouane Fellaini has lauded his Belgium team-mates as "warriors" after they reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Romelu Lukaku scored two first-half goals as Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils) beat Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2002.
"Belgium can be very proud of this team," said Manchester United midfielder Fellaini. "We are going to Brazil and will try and have a great tournament."
In this new generation of players, there is technique, maturity, physicality. They are also warriors.
Belgium, who reached six World Cups in a row between 1982 and 2002, topped Group A and became the third European team after Italy and Netherlands to make sure of their place in Brazil.
"We knew it would be a difficult match tonight, but we have done what we had to do," said Fellaini. "In this new generation of players, there is technique, maturity, physicality.
"They are also warriors. They are all great players who have given Belgium the opportunity to achieve a great performance next June."
Hazard revels in Zagreb showing
Eden Hazard was delighted to have won in Zagreb.
"It's a huge pleasure to play with this team," said the Chelsea playmaker. "We proved again tonight that we are a strong side, and to win in Croatia is a real achievement."
Lukaku broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Steven Defour dispossessed Ivan Perisic. Defour found Lukaku, who then rounded goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa to score. Lukaku made it 2-0 after 38 minutes despite Letikosa saving his first attempt.
Croatia substitute Niko Kranjcar beat Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with six minutes left, but the home side couldn't find another goal and must now hope to make the World Cup via the play-offs.