Lukaku scores twice as Belgium ease to victory over Panama


Day 5 of World Cup 2018 was defined by England's stoppage-time victor from Harry Kane in a 2-1 victory over Tunisia, Belgium's blistering second half in a 3-0 shutout of Panama and a VAR-ruled penalty (another correct call by VAR) in Sweden's 1-0 win over South Korea.

It's amusing, I went from the biggest transfer in the world, to the most criticised player in the world.

Southgate's young charges arrived in Russian Federation quietly confident after a solid qualifying campaign and encouraging friendly results against Brazil, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Individual brilliance broke Panama's resistance on Monday but for Belgium coach Roberto Martinez the 3-0 win was a victory for a new sense of team solidarity as his squad of precocious talents eyes World Cup glory. Interestingly, both sides are known for their cool and collective approach with sporadic bursts of attacking football - we could enjoy a tactics -driven duel at Stadion Nizhny Novgorod today.

"This team shouldn't be burdened with that because they're a fresh group, majority have very few global caps, so the future is all ahead of them", Southgate told reporters.

"There are alternatives to try and change that situation to try and score more goals".

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The last four teams we're yet to see at the World Cup play their opening games tonight.

But Martinez, hired two years ago to end a record of under-achievement for a "golden generation" of Red Devils, was as keen to stress his front line's commitment to getting back in defence.

Panama's first ever game at the World Cup ended in a 3-0 loss to Belgium, a super strike from Dries Mertens breaking the deadlock.

Belgium Vs Panama (8:30 PM IST) This is a contest between a strong title contender and one of the biggest underdogs of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

But it was a distraction neither team needs in a tough Group F with defending champion Germany and Mexico.

The Swedes come to Russian Federation at the dawning of the "post-Zlatan" era, after their talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his worldwide career after the last Euros. Panama did not even field a team for World Cup qualifying until the 1978 competition. They are coming into this contest at the back of two victories in the friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica. The Swedes later advanced by eliminating Italy in a play-off. "I think I'm going to be one of those people, too, because of the emotion and to feel the significance of listening to the national anthem at a World Cup".