Easy does it as Bel­gium ham­mer Tu­nisia

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Haz­ard scored two goals each in a dom­i­nant Bel­gium dis­play yes­ter­day, lead­ing their team over Tu­nisia 5-2 in the high­est scor­ing game of the World Cup.

The Red Devils were ram­pant at times and rested both for­wards in the sec­ond half for tougher tests ahead. A spot in the round of 16 is al­most cer­tain af­ter an open­ing 3-0 win over Panama – a point from Bel­gium’s last game against Eng­land in Kalin­ingrad will en­sure a place in the round of 16.

Bel­gium had a two-goal lead within 16 min­utes. Haz­ard scored with a sixth-minute penalty he earned by be­ing tripped, and Lukaku an­gled a low, left-foot shot into the cor­ner of the net.

‘‘We knew that if we scored early, the game would be easy,’’ Haz­ard said. ‘‘So af­ter five min­utes we scored, and we con­trolled the game.’’

The Tu­nisians cut the lead when de­fender Dy­lan Bronn headed in a goal in the 18th minute, but Bel­gium weren’t done.

Lukaku clipped a right-foot shot over ad­vanc­ing goal­keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha in firsthalf stop­page time to match Cris­tiano Ron­aldo with four goals as the tour­na­ment’s top scor­ers.

Haz­ard then ran on to a long pass in the 51st minute, flicked the ball around Ben Mustapha and shot into an empty net. Sub­sti­tute Michy Bat­shuayi made it a rout in stop­page time.

Tu­nisia cap­tain Wahbi Khazri got his team’s sec­ond with al­most the last kick of the match.

Bel­gium have looked the most com­plete at­tack­ing force at the World Cup, though with­out yet play­ing a Euro­pean or South Amer­i­can team.

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