Another African team, Tunisia has been eliminated from the FIFA 2018 World Cup going on in Russia as Belgium just handed Tunisia a 5-2 win.
The First stage – Group G match played at Spartak Stadium, Moscow, saw Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku bag a brace apiece.
Lukaku’s two goals see him level with Cristiano Ronaldo both of whom share 4 goals each in the race for the Adidas Golden Boot.
Lukaku and Hazard each scored twice and substitute Michy Batshuayi added a deserved fifth as Belgium cruised past Tunisia to advance to a place in the Round of 16.
Belgium had trounced Panama 3-0 and has just secured another 3 goals advantage against Tunisia and with 6 points and 6 goals advantage, the Round of 16 is a shot away.
Lukaku’s clinically taken brace, coming in the wake of a double against Panama in the Red Devils’ opening match, established him as Belgium’s most prolific scorer at a single FIFA World Cup.
Hazard kicked off the scoring by opening his account at Russia 2018 in the sixth minute from the penalty spot, before Lukaku doubled the Red Devils’ lead after 16 minutes with an angled left-foot finish.
The Carthage Eagles pulled a goal back courtesy of a Dylan Bronn header but Lukaku then made it 3-1 in first-half stoppage time with a dinked finish to convert Thomas Meunier’s clever through ball.
Hazard then got his second in the 51st minute of a thrilling contest from a defence-splitting Kevin de Bruyne pass before Belgium substitute Batshuayi and Tunisia skipper Wahbi Khazri rounded off the scoring.
The North Africans’ World Cup hopes now hang by a thread after losing 1-2 to England and with -4 goals down.
They will need Panama to beat England in tomorrow’s match to stand any chance of continuing in this competition.
Belgium imposed themselves on this game, taking control of the play and clinically converting their chances.
They looked to kill the contest quickly and counted on their individual attacking stars to do that.
The defence and the midfield also kept their shape despite Tunisia’s early pressing. The Red Devils are living up to expectations.
Speaking after the match, Roberto Martinez, the Belgian coach said:
“[Romelu] will try to score as many goals as he can but not at all costs.
“I thought he was incisive, in the right position, in a confident mood, in front of goal he was as clinical as you might expect.
“Many things can be better. This was a game that suited our style, you have to give credit to Tunisia.
“They wanted to win from the beginning, press high up. The credit that we deserve is that we took those opportunities well.
“We are still growing. With a two-goal lead we should have controlled the game a little bit better.”
Reacting, Nabil Maaloul, the Tunisian coach commented:
“As expected, it was a very difficult match.
“Ever since we were drawn into this group we knew Belgium were going to be a tough opponent.
“We would like to apologise to the Tunisian fans who were numerous in the stadium today.
“However, we did our best and we will try to improve our performance in the future.”
This is the first time Belgium have registered five goals in a World Cup match
It’s the Red Devils’ 11th match undefeated in the World Cup group stages
Tunisia are now 13 matches without a win in the World Cup
This was the ninth 5-2 in World Cup history. The most recent was France 5-2 Switzerland in 2014.
The first was when Belgium suffered a 5-2 defeat to Germany in 1934.
HOW THEY STAND