Full Time: Belgium 3-0 Panama
Date: 18 June 2018
Venue: Fisht Stadium
A brace from Romelu Lukaku saw Belgium register an impressive 3-0 win over Panama in their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup Group G match at the Fisht Stadium on Monday.
Belgium controlled the flow of play early on but struggled to create any decent scoring chances, with their final pass often letting them down.
On the half-hour mark, Belgium looked certain to score when a pin-point pass from Kevin de Bruyne found its way to Lukaku inside the box, but his effort was superbly cleared off the line by Roman Torres.
Belgium simply weren’t able to get beyond the Panama defence and had to enter the break locked at 0-0.
Two minutes into the second half, Belgium finally broke the deadlock when Dries Mertens fired his country in front with a deadly volley from just inside the box, 1-0.
Belgium doubled their lead in the 69th minute when some swift passing play concluded with Lukaku getting on the end of a De Bruyne cross to head home from close range, 2-0.
The match was over as a contest six minutes later when Eden Hazard played Lukaku in behind the Panama defence and he duly dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper, 3-0.
Belgium took their foot off the pedal after that and cruised to a rather comfortable win in their opening Group G game.
Here is how they lined up.
Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Witsel (Chadli 90’), De Bruyne, Lukaku, Hazard, Carrasco (Dembele 74’), Mertens (T. Hazard 83’), Meunier, Boyata.
Panama: Penedo, Murillo, Escobar, Torres, Gomez, Perez (Tejada 73’), Barcenas (G. Torres 63’), Cooper, Davis, Godoy, Rodriguez (Diaz 63’).