Romelu Lukaku hit a publish and missed a string of possibilities as Belgium’s ‘golden era’ had been knocked out of the World Cup, with their 0-0 draw with Croatia sending the 2018 runners-up into the final 16 with Group F winners Morocco.
Roberto Martinez’s aspect completed third 4 years in the past and led the world rankings till lately however his ageing squad had been effectively off the tempo in Qatar and, regardless of an enchancment within the second half which led to a sequence of openings for Lukaku, they could not give you the win they wanted as a result of Morocco’s victory over Canada.
Half-time sub Lukaku shot in opposition to the within of the publish when the objective was gaping, headed over from a Kevin De Bruyne cross, flicked extensive from shut vary, chested the ball to the goalkeeper from contained in the six-yard field and was overwhelmed to a free ball by Josko Gvardiol from an analogous distance.
At full-time, Belgium’s document scorer broke down within the arms of coach Thierry Henry after which punched a panel out of the dugout in frustration – however his team-mates had as soon as once more been under par themselves, with solely a particularly tight – and reviewed – offside name denying Croatia a penalty within the opening 45 and Thibaut Courtois made to work within the second interval.
Amid hypothesis about unrest within the Belgian camp following their 2-0 humbling by Morocco of their earlier group recreation, Martinez had dropped captain Eden Hazard however there was no addition to the crew’s solitary objective on this group section.
With 15 of their 26 gamers at this event aged 29 or over, this gifted group of Belgian footballers might effectively have missed their second to get their palms on silverware.
Croatia might want to enhance significantly themselves if they’re to copy their run to the ultimate in Russia however they’re a minimum of nonetheless within the combine, with a last-16 tie in opposition to the winner of Group E, the place Spain paved the way.
What does the end result imply?
Croatia progress to the final 16 of the World Cup together with Group F winners Morocco, who beat already-eliminated Canada 2-1. Belgium are knocked out of the World Cup, ending third some extent behind Croatia.
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