FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama Highlights: Romelu Lukaku scores brace in Belgium’s 3-0 win

FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama Highlights: Brace from Romelu Lukaku and another from Dries Mertens helped Belgium to 3-0 win.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: June 18, 2018 10:56:58 pm
Belgium vs Panama Live FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama: Belgium beat Panama. (Reuters Photo)

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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FIFA World Cup 2018, Score and Updates

22:24 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
FULL TIME! BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

Panama's debut at the World Cup ends in defeat. Belgium start off with a 3-0 win, not so easy in the end. Three goals in the second half and two by Lukaku as Belgium start with all three points in Sochi. 

22:11 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Lukaku brace

Romelu Lukaku scored a brace for Belgium. (Source: Reuters)

22:08 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Belgiums rejoice
22:05 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
GOAL!!!

BELGIUM SCORE! ROMELU LUKAKU ONCE AGAIN AND BELGIUM GO 3-0 UP! Quick counter from Belgium, Witsel to Hazard and then Eden plays Lukaku on with a neat ball in his stride. With keeper to beat, Lukaku chips Penedo to make it 3-0!

22:00 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
GOAAAAL!!!

BELGIUM GO 2-0 UP!! LUKAKU SCORES!! Kevin de Bruyne with a tasty ball towards Lukaku and the ball is headed into the back of the net. Third goal at a World Cup for Romelu Lukaku. Hints of offside when the ball was played in but VAR confirms the goal stands.

21:52 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Belgium chances

Belgium finally creating some decent chances in and around the Panma box. An attempted one-two involving Lukaku at the edge of the box doesn't quite come off. The ball is played behind the Manchester United man and the chances goes to waste. Eden Hazard getting more and more involved in things now

21:47 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Panama chance!

Big, big chance for Panama to equalise! Michael Murillo darts in behind Carrasco off a long ball. Gets a decent first touch to keep the ball in his stride and then with Courtois to beat, sends the ball straight at the Belgium keeper. Poor defending from Carrasco

21:46 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Belgium goalscorer

Dries Mertens scored the opener for Belgium against Panama. (Source: Reuters)

21:37 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
GOAL!!

OUT OF ABSOLUTE NOWHERE! Mertens puts Belgium in front! Gorgeous volley from Dries Mertens at the edge of the penalty box and it goes beyond the Panama goalkeeper. Six goals in last nine appearances for Mertens. Will that open the floodgates?

21:35 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
SECOND HALF

Belgium get the second half underway in Sochi. No changes by either teams during the break. 

21:24 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Indian ball boy in Sochi

Rishi Tej, 10, from Bangalore had the honour of picking the ball up and taking it forward when the teams descended from the tunnel. 

21:19 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
HALF TIME

45 minutes played in Sochi and Belgium are 0-0 against Panama. Been rather disappointing from the Red Devils. No urgency ni their attack, no creativity going forward and Panama have kept them in check. Seeing plenty of ball but not enough to create chances. Lukaku, starved for the ball, had to drop closer to the midfield to get involved in the game. But after the first half, credit to Panama for holding Belgium

21:07 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Panama chance!

Panama make run forward and looked to be on a two-on-one attack but a deflection, timely one at that, ends that opportunity. Alderweireld and Vertonghen exchanging words over how so much space was allowed for Panama to move foward. In the 34th minute, Panama win their first corner at their first World Cup

20:57 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Panama move forward

Panama with a rare show of attacking intent. Edgar Barcanes with the cross from the right but it is headed away and then cleared from danger by Alex Witsel

20:53 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
CHANCE

Kevin de Bruyne with a gorgeous ball played into the box after 21 minutes and it is aimed at Lukaku at the far post. But Torres gets his foot to it and is deflected wide of the post for a corner. Could very easily have been an own goal

20:50 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
YELLOW CARD

Panama's Eric Davis joins Belgium's Thomas Meunier in getting booked inside the first 20 minutes

20:46 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
12' Belgium 0-0 Panama

After first 12 minutes, it looks like it will be a tough day in the office for Panama. Pegged back with Belgium riding attack after attack. Running towards the box but so far, so good

20:39 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
CHANCE!

Ball comes to Carrasco on the edge of the box and he tries to side foot the ball into the back of the net but it is comfortably saved by Penedo. Moments later, Hazard runs at the Panama defence and plays it towards Mertens and his right footed effort is saved

20:34 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
KICK OFF!

KICK OFF! Panama kick things off. What a moment for Panama - debut - and some players visibly emotional during the national anthem

20:26 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Big moment for Panama fans

Panama fan in attendance against Belgium. (Source: Reuters)

20:13 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
PRE-MATCH READ

Great read on Belgium their talent and how despite the talent, they've underperformed. Will 2018 be the turn of things?

20:03 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Clijsters is ready

Former World No 1 tennis player Kim Clijsters is ready for Belgium to get things underway

20:02 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Panama fans in volume

Chants of "Olé Olé Olé Olé, Panama, Panama” and “¡Sí se puede!, ¡sí se puede!" (Yes we can, Yes we can)  ring around the stadium as Panama team take the field for the first time in a World Cup

19:37 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Belgium team

Boyata starts for Belgium in place of injured Vincent Kompany against debutants Panama. Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku up front!

19:33 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
LINEUPS

Belgium XI: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku

Panama XI: Penedo, Román, Escobar, Davis, Murillo, Gómez, Godoy, Cooper, Bárcenas, Rodríguez, Blas Pérez

19:25 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Sweden win

In the first game of the day, Sweden and South Korea faced each other. After a slow start, Sweden were on the attack and in the second half, they were awarded a penalty. Andreas Granqvist converted the penalty for Sweden and that was the only goal of the game. Relive the highlights of Sweden vs South Korea here

19:19 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Belgium vs Panama in Sochi

We are just over an hour away from the second game of the day! Belgium are taking on Panama. This game will also kick-off the competition of Group G.

19:08 (IST) 18 Jun 2018
Group G Belgium vs Panama

Belgium are once again at a World Cup and they are once again the underdogs. They open their campaign against Panama on Monday and will start as favourites in the match. A win here will boost their chances of finishing at the top of the group in which England and Tunisia are also part

FIFA World Cup Live Score Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez during training. (Source: Reuters)

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.''