World Cup

LIVE UPDATE: Belgium 3 vs 0 Panama

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

It’s all over in Sochi, and it’s three points for Belgium with three goals and it was ultimately an easy win for Roberto Martinez’s side.

It was quite the free flowing football we’re used to seeing, but all three goals from Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku – who netted twice – were very good indeed.

Next up in Group G, it’s a little team called England against Tunisia.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

90+3: A bit of confusion over a refereeing decision as he blows for a foul, but the ball is pumped forward by Panama. It turns out to be a dropped ball, which Panama try and get forward.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

90: Chadli will be the final player introduced for Belgium, with Witsel making way.

There will be four minutes of added time in Sochi.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA 

89: Escobar takes, but it goes straight into the hands of Courtois,

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

88: De Bruyne in the book now after a high challenge on Tejada. Free kick to Panama.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

86: SAVE!! A brilliant save from Courtois as Tejada looked to be through on goal, but the stopper was out quickly to deny him before the offside flag was raised.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

83: Another Belgium free kick, just off centre this time, with Mertens over it.

However, his name is shown on the board to be replaced by Thorgan Hazard, but Roberto Martinez wants the change to be made after the free kick.

Eden Hazard takes in the end, which is well cleared, before the younger Hazard comes on for Mertens.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA 

81: Meunier is nearly on the scoresheet as Mertens taps a ball into his path after a good ball over the top from Lukaku, but the former is well offside as Penedo collects the ball.

BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA

79: CLOSE! Not far from Panama as Cooper whips in a lovely cross from the left, inviting Tejada to strike, but he is just a fraction too late and cannot make a connection as the ball runs wide.

GOAL! BELGIUM 3-0 PANAMA (Lukaku, 75)

A superb break away goal from Belgium and they’re making this look easy now.

It’s Witsel that set the Red Devils away, with Hazard powering through the middle of the park before picking out Lukaku to his left. He then makes no mistake in slotting home past Penedo for his second of the afternoon.

BELGIUM 2-0 PANAMA

74: Here comes Dembele now as Carrasco comes off.

BELGIUM 2-0 PANAMA

73: Final change from Panama as Perez is replaced by Tejada.

Demeble also being prepared for Belgium.

GOAL! BELGIUM 2-0 PANAMA (Lukaku, 69)

Another great goal from Belgium, and they double their lead in their opening World Cup game.

Hazard pulls the ball back for De Bruyne at the top of the area, who in turn takes a few steps into the box before lofting a ball into the middle.

It meets the head of Lukaku who powers the effort home. VAR is used to check that Lukaku was onside – which he was – and the goal stands.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA 

68: Another Belgium free kick as Carrasco is fouled by Murillo. De Bruyne takes it quickly this time, playing it short with Vertonghen but not much comes from it.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA 

66: It is indeed De Bruyne who takes, but it goes straight into the wall. Not his best, really.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

65: A free kick for Belgium once again, with this one more central than a few already this game, and De Bruyne looks set to take it again, although he has Mertens for company.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

63: First changes from Panama as Rodriguez and Barcenas are replaced by Gabriel Torres and Diaz.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

62: A good cross into the area from Alderweireld, which Torres clears, although it only goes as far as Mertens, who once again tries to shoot.

However, it is hooked over the crossbar before a corner is delivered, although Vertonghen’s header is straight into Penedo’s arms.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

60: Vertonghen booked now as he commits a foul on Cooper. Scope for every player seeing a yellow at this rate!

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

58: SHOT! Not bad from Barcenas, who latches onto a lovely ball over the top and strikes, sending the ball flashing past the post.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

57: Another yellow card, Godoy chatting back to the referee gets him the latest booking. Panama are racking them up now.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

55: SAVE! The first real save of the game from Courtois as a ball is played over the top for Murillo on the right of the area. He looks to get onto the ball, but Courtois is out to smother the ball ahead of him.

Carrasco has completely switched off, and it takes a big run from Vertonghen to help out too.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

52: CLOSE!! A superb free kick from De Bruyne who looks to have found is groove, but his curled effort just goes past the post.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

51: There are a number of niggly fouls coming in from Panama now, as Carrasco is the latest player to be fouled, this time by Murillo, who goes into the book.

BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA

49: A yellow card for Cooper now as he fouls Hazard, although De Bruyne’s free kick is well cleared.

GOAL! BELGIUM 1-0 PANAMA (Mertiens, 47)

A lovely goal from Mertens! And Belgium have an early breakthrough in the second half.

He pumps the ball into the area but it is cleared back to him but a number of bouncing heads, before he hits the ball first time of the half volley from the top right corner.

It pings through the area and nestles into the bottom left corner. A superb strike, and you don’t save many of them!

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

47: An early free kick for Belgium as Davis commits a foul on Mertens. It looks like a stinger from Mertens’ reaction.

De Bruyne delivers but Perez heads away the danger.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

46: Belgium get the second half under way in Sochi. Will we see a bit more intensity from these two in the second period?

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

It’s the familiar story of the underdog holding the favourite at half-time of the game in Sochi, with Belgium unable to capitalise on their possession and are lacking in the final third.

The half-time whistle is met with huge cheers by the Panama fans, who know they have superbly navigated the first half.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

46: Another yellow card, this time for Barcenas as he fouls Witsel.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

45: The final ball is very much lacking from Belgium at the moment as Hazard tries to pass for Carrasco down the left, but Torres sees away the danger.

Something for Roberto Martinez to ponder in his half-time team talk… Which will be happening in two minutes or so, with the official indicating the amount of time to be added on.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

42: Some lovely play from Panama as they set Cooper up to shoot, but his eventual effort heads way over the crossbar.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

41: Mertens attempts to play the ball through for Lukaku, but Panama manage to clear just ahead of the striker before Belgium win a free kick.

De Bruyne pings the ball into area, and Mertens gets a foot onto at the top of the area, but his volley flashes wide.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

39: Courtois has the ball in his hands! Although it’s a fairly simple collection as Panama have a corner, with Perez knocking the ball back into the area at the back post before Torres’ volley goes into the hands of the goalkeeper.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

38: SAVE! A superb save from Penedo! Hazard dances his way into the box and with Panama’s defenders standing off him, he strikes and forces a fine, leaping save from the Panama stopper.

Mertens then delivers the corner, but Torres heads away the danger.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

37: A good ball into the area from Mertens, which Lukaku is waiting for but the referee blows for a foul as he sees the striker tussle with Torres, giving Panama the free kick.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

35: A good burst forward from Perez down the left, as he plays in Rodriguez. He then, in turn, picks out Cooper at the top of the area, who gets the ball into the box, but Belgium see it behind for Panama’s first ever World Cup corner.

Barcenas delivers, but Belgium clear well.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

33: Free kick for Belgium just inside their own half as Witsel is fouled by Perez.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

32: A poor pass from Carrasco allows Godoy onto the ball as he looks to power through the middle of the park with the Panama fans urging him on.

However, Carrasco does well to get back to disposes his opponent and bring the move to an end.

JUST WIDE!

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

30: After a brief break in play, De Bruyne delivers the corner, initially taking it short, but the head of Murillo clears the eventual incoming danger.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

28: De Bruyne hammers the ball towards the area, but it flicks off the head of the Panama players in the wall and goes wide. Cooper goes down clutching his head afterwards as it bounced off the back of his head, with the medical team on.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

27: Free kick to Belgium as Hazard is fouled by Murillo over on the left of the area. A dangerous position for Belgium with De Bruyne over it…

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

25: Another Belgium corner now, which is swung into the area by De Bruyne, but Gomez heads away the danger.

Meanwhile, Hazard tries his luck from just inside the area, but he sends a speculative effort over the crossbar.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

24: A great break from Panama as they look to create something, with Cooper bursting down the field, but Witsel is back there to see away his cross as Belgium deal with the oncoming threat.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

24: A great break from Panama as they look to create something, with Cooper bursting down the field, but Witsel is back there to see away his cross as Belgium deal with the oncoming threat.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

22: STRIKE! A lovely hit from De Bruyne as Hazard plays the corner short to him at the top of the area and the midfielder lets fly – but it goes high over the crossbar.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

21: WIDE!!! A superb block from Torres! De Bruyne does well to get the ball away from a melee of players at the top right corner, before getting a cross into the area.

However, the Panama captain is ahead of Lukaku to see the ball behind for a Belgium corner.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

19: A good corner from Belgium as De Bruyne plays it mid-length to Mertens on the edge of the area and he is unmarked, allowing him to shoot but it hammers into the side of the net.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

18: Another yellow card, this time for Davis, after an earlier foul on Mertens.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

17: Some superb play from Barcenas as he gets away from his marker over on the right, attempting to make his way into the area but some good defending from Vertonghen snuffs out the danger.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

14: An early yellow card for Meunier as he puts an arm around the middle of Rodriguez’s chest as they two tussles for the ball, but the Panama man makes a meal of the contact.

A harsh booking, but he’s in there nonetheless.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

12: CLOSE! He may have sent his country to the World Cup, but it was nearly a costly mistake from Torres.

Boyata dinks a ball over the top, with Hazard busting a gut to meet it. However, Torres is with him and just has that extra yard that sees him get onto the ball first. He looks for the danger but decides to play a back pass to his goalkeeper anyway.

Hazard is alert to the underhit ball, and races onto it, but he tries to hit it too quickly and smashes the effort into the side of the net.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

9: Belgium still seeing the better of the ball, as you would expect, and Panama have barely got out of their own half yet, bar the free kick.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

7: SHOT! First of the game comes for Belgium as Mertens’ fizzing pass is left by Hazard for the incoming Carrasco, who sees his effort into the hands of goalkeeper Penedo.

SAVE! Penedo gets his hands on the ball once again as Mertens shoots this time, but it is tipped over the crossbar by the Panama stopper.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA

5: Belgium are pushing Panama further and further back as they look for an opening into the area, but Vertonghen’s lofted cross into the box goes too wide for another Belgium player to attack.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

4: Free kick to Panama over on the left-hand side of the box as Boyata tackles Cooper, with the flag instantly waving on the touchline.

The roar from the Panama fans is superb as Davis delivers but Belgium manage to get the ball into the hands of Courtois.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

2: A lovely early ball from Belgium as De Bruyne slips in Carrasco down the left of the box. He then fires a cross into the area, looking for the waiting Lukaku in the middle, but Gomez does well to see the ball behind before the striker can make any contact.

BELGIUM 0-0 PANAMA 

1: Here we go ladies and gents, Panama get us under way in Sochi as Group G kicks off at World Cup 2018!

HERE COME THE TEAMS

Roman Torres and Eden Hazard lead the two sides out in Sochi, with the national anthems up first before the game gets underway.

Belgium go first, before World Cup new boys Panama take their turn.

OPTA STATS

  • This will be the first ever encounter between Belgium and Panama.
  • The first European team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Belgium scored the joint-most goals in the UEFA qualifiers alongside Germany (43). They were also one of four unbeaten teams, alongside England, Germany and Spain.
  • Belgium are unbeaten in their last nine World Cup group games (W4 D5), winning each of their last four. They have made it to the second round in six of their last seven World Cup appearances; the only exception coming in 1998.
  • In the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, no Panama player scored more than two goals (Gabriel and Roman Torres). In fact, Panama made it to Russia with a negative goal difference (-1), winning only three of their 10 games in the last round of CONCACAF qualifying.
  • Romelu Lukaku scored 11 goals in eight games during the World Cup qualifiers, only Robert Lewandowski (16) and Cristiano Ronaldo (15) were more prolific among European sides.
  • This will be Panama boss Hernan Dario Gomez’s third World Cup with a third different team. He took charge of his home nation Colombia in 1998 and Ecuador in 2002, both times getting knocked out in the group stages.

TEAM NEWS

BELGIUM TEAM NEWS

Team to play Panama: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard, R. Lukaku.

Subs: Mignolet, Casteels, Kompany, Dendoncker, Hazard, Tielemans, Dembele, Fellaini, Chadli, Januzaj, Batshuayi.

PANAMA TEAM NEWS

Team to play Belgium: Penedo, Murillo, Escobar, R Torres, Davis, Gomez, Godoy, Cooper, J Rodriguez, Barcenas, Perez.

Subs: Claderon, A Rodriguez, Cummings, G Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy.

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