FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama Highlights: Belgium beat Panama 3-0 in Sochi but were stretched in getting all three points in their first game at the World Cup. Dries Mertens scored a volley before Romelu Lukaku added a brace to make the win comfortable and beyond any doubt. Panama had held the Red Devils scoreless until two minutes in the second half. With the win, Belgium are off to a decent start in Group F with England taking on Tunisia later in the night. Debutants Panama had few chances to score but were not clinical enough to beat Thibaut Courtois.
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Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez isn't in the business of sugarcoating the truth before his team makes history by playing in its first World Cup. The Central American team has trouble scoring and his players will need to have a good day to have any chance against Belgium on Monday, he said.
Blunt and honest, Gomez didn't even hide his starting lineup, the normal way of doing things for coaches these days. And when asked if Panama could repeat Iceland's upset against Argentina _ the teams drew 1-1 on Saturday -- the Colombian didn't bother picking the right words when downplaying the Argentine squad.
``Iceland sent Croatia to the playoffs (in European qualifying), and it did well in the European Championship as well,'' Gomez said. ``It played against an Argentina squad which isn't at the same level as Belgium right now. I mean, the distance between Iceland and Argentina isn't as significant as the distance between Belgium and Panama.''
Gomez didn't completely dismiss Panama's chances of a surprise result against the Belgians, saying ``anything can happen in football,'' but admitted it wouldn't be normal.
``It's very clear that they are the favorites,'' the 62-year-old coach said. ``But each game is different, and if we have a good day, maybe we can achieve something.''