FIFA World Cup, CRO vs BEL: Romelu Lukaku missed a string of late chances as Belgium crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage after a 0-0 draw with Croatia on Thursday
Romelu Lukaku missed a string of late chances as Belgium crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage after a 0- 0 draw with Croatia on Thursday which transferred the 2018 runners- up into the knockout phase. Croatia had a penalty award controversially cancelled by VAR beforehand in a largely uneventful first half. The preface of Lukaku at the interval changed the game, but he was shamefaced of three dreadful misses as Zlatko Dalic’s side rode their luck to hold on. Croatia progressed as runners- up in Group F behind winners Morocco who beat Canada 2- 1 to also qualify for the last 16.
Belgium, the world’s alternate- ranked side, saw their run of reaching at least the quarter- tests at four straight major events come to an abrupt end.
Roberto Martinez‘s men managed just one thing in the event in a fortunate opening 1- 0 palm over Canada.
Martinez dropped captain Eden Hazard to the bench as one of four changes which also saw Leandro Trossard and Dries Mertens start for the first time in Qatar.
The figure- up to the match had been dominated by rumours of an altercation between elderly Belgian players, involving Eden Hazard, which Martinez described as” fake news”.
Croatia nearly took the lead inside the first 10 seconds, as the ball was played forward to Ivan Perisic after kick- off and the Tottenham man cut outside and drilled a shot just wide of the far post.
The liability of Belgium demanding to win was increased when Morocco scored an early thing across Doha. Yannick Carrasco had a chance to open the scoring but his shot was blocked.
Mertens coiled over after a trademark Kevin De Bruyne run and pass, before Croatia were awarded a penalty seconds latterly when Carrasco tripped Andrej Kramaric in the box.
But the decision was capsized following a lengthy VAR check which decided that a bitsy bit of Dejan Lovren’s shoulder was offside.
Hopeless for a thing after a first half in which neither side mustered a shot on target, Martinez transferred on Lukaku, Belgium’s record arranger, for Mertens at half- time.
They incontinently carried more trouble, with Lukaku, who plodded with injury in the figure- up to the event, heading straight at Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
Thibaut Courtois was also called into action for the first time, stretching to tip over Mateo Kovacic’s entwining trouble as the game opened up.
That also suited the Croatian bushwhackers however and Courtois had to doubly get down to keep out low shots from Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric.
Belgium should have taken the lead on the hour mark.
Carrasco nearly whisked the ball in but was denied by Livakovic, before Lukaku simulated to hit the post with the thing peering on the answer.
Lukaku was shamefaced of an indeed worse miss two twinkles latterly, heading over an empty net from six yards out, although renewals suggested the ball may have been out of play when De Bruyne crossed it in.
Martinez also threw on Thorgan Hazard, Youri Tielemans and Jeremy Doku as Belgium searched for that all important thing.
Lukaku saw another chance come and go in the 87th nanosecond, diverting the ball wide from Thomas Meunier’s blitz.
The striker, on loan at Inter Milan from Chelsea, still had another golden occasion to be the idol, but he decided to casket the ball towards the open net from three yards out and directed it into the arms of Livakovic. Read More FIFA News…