The first 45 minutes of Belgium’s opening game with Panama was certainly not easy on the eye. A ponderous, disjointed display against the World Cup debutants saw Romelu Lukaku touch the ball just seven times in the first half.
Captain Eden Hazard let rip at his team-mates during the break, with Lukaku firmly in his sights.
“It’s not easy playing with a man missing,” said Hazard of the Manchester United striker. “At half-time, I told him we needed him. He’d been hiding out a bit up front. But once he got in there, involved in the game, like magic, he scored two. I hope he understands that now.”
The constructive criticism had the desired effect and Belgium are now targeting a victory that will see them secure their place in the last 16 if England avoid defeat to Panama.
Tunisia, meanwhile, will be eliminated with a game still to go if they are defeated and England don’t lose.
- 7De Bruyne
- 16T Hazard
- 1Ben Mustapha
- 2S Ben Youssef
- 8F Ben Youssef
- 14Ben Amor
VIEW FROM BOTH CAMPS
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez on Tunisia: “They have a lot of bravery and they’re very dynamic.
“The players have a good understanding between each others and they can bring energy and intensity on counter-attacks. They play direct, efficient football.”
Tunisia head coach Nabil Maaloul: “If we had got a draw it would have been an excellent result for us (against England), but hopefully this will lead to higher levels of concentration in the coming games.”
Belgium had to wait to make the breakthrough against Panama but they ended up comfortable winners, and I can see this game being a similar story.
They did not play brilliantly on Monday, but the quality of the first two goals Belgium scored showed the class they have in their team – and that will make the difference against Tunisia too.
Source: BBC News