Belgium 3-0 Panama
Romelu Lukaku put in an impressive second-half performance as Belgium got off to a perfect start in Group G, beating Panama 3-0.
Romelu Lukaku had himself a day pic.twitter.com/HXLOPkrJNm— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 18, 2018
It was a tale of two halves, as the Red Devils struggled to break down a dogged Panama defensive structure in the opening 45 minutes, with Lukaku only having one touch in the opposition penalty box.
He almost found himself on the end of a Kevin De Bruyne cross, only for Román Torres to deflect it of the striker's foot.
After a goalless first-half, Belgium didn't take long to get on the scoreboard. Dries Mertens' impressive volleyed effort moments into the second-half gave the Red Devils the lead. Panama's resilience appeared to be broken and Belgium took full advantage of their superior talent and firepower.
With 20 minutes left, De Bruyne's intelligent weighted cross found Lukaku on the 6-yard box, and the United player headed home with confidence. A VAR offside decision was waved away and Lukaku grabbed his first goal of the 2018 World Cup.
A few minutes later, Eden Hazard released Lukaku after an explosive counter-attack and the striker grabbed his second with phenomenal composure; lifting the ball over the oncoming Jaime Penedo in goal.
Lukaku again!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 18, 2018
The forward gets his second of the game to make it 3-0 for Belgium. pic.twitter.com/zWiyKMma1B
It was a significant start to Belgium's World Cup campaign, in a group that they will hope to top. Lukaku's dominant performance proved why he is considered one of the best strikers in this years competition. The United man was awarded with Man of the Match for his two goals.
Lukaku and Belgium will now face up against Tunisia on June 23rd.