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BEL vs PAN Match Result - FIFA WC 2018
3 - 0
D. Mertens 47'
R. Lukaku 69'
R. Lukaku 75'
A good first half by Panama, but Belgium were just too good in the second half. The Mertens goal was the break they needed to open the floodgates and the Lukaku brace sealed the tie. Listen, Panama weren't expected to win or take a point, but they can be pleased with that first half performance.

Good start from the Belgians though and they'll want to kick on with games against Tunisia and England coming up next.

This is
Amit Mishra signing off! You can follow Shambhu Ajith covering England's clash against Tunisia next here: 

Until next time, see you when I see you! 
Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Full time! 
90+5' Added time in injury time as Panama manage a good move but the cross by Davis isn't made good use of by Torres who's touch let's him down...
90+4' The ref had blown the whistle just before Godoy took an outrageous shot from is own half to try and catch Courtois out! The 'keeper made the save, but it wouldn't have counted anyway...
90+3' Cooper wins the ball in midfield and immediately goes down with a cramp. Panama decide to continue anyway but lose the ball...
90+2' Chadli tries to get involved right after coming on and does well to cut back, but the ball gets away from him and Torres clears it away to safety...
Four minutes have been added on...
90' Substitution for Belgium

Witsel is OFF
Chadli is ON
89' Escobar let's one fly from the subsequent freekick but Courtois is well-positioned to gobble it up. Panama have done better attacking wise in the second half, but Belgium have been irresistible at times... 
88' Booking for De Bruyne for a De Jong-esque tackle on Tejada. The latter would have felt that. These modern day boots are built to hurt if you're going straight in!
87' Nearly! Panama make inroads down the right but the pass by Murillo is again overhit! 
86' Panama with their best build up play they've manage in the entire game as Diaz did well to combine with Cooper, but the former is adjudged offside! Shame. Give us some more of that, Panama!
84' Jeez! Belgium are messing around now. Chipped pass or two despite the Panama press! So easy on the eye!
83' Substitution for Belgium

Mertens is OFF
Thorgan Hazard is ON
82' Freekick to Belgium. Hazard looks like he fancies this!
81' Jeez! Meunier nearly scores a stunner with a little turn! Lukaku's pass to find Mertens was just incredible. Took two players out with that pass, but the latter was just offside!
80' Murillo again with a brilliant tackle on Hazard! Again, took too long on the ball.
80' HOLY! Lukaku with a stepover and shifts past one, nearly shifts past two! But Escobar manages to thwart him in the end!
79' Tejada nearly! Brilliant cross by Davis but the former just isn't able to get at the end of it!
78' Murillo with a top tackle in his own box to get the ball off Hazard! Risk, but it was a clean tackle! Panama need to calm it a bit and keep the ball. Easier said than done, though...
77' Hazard again has space on the left and tires to cut in but the Panama defence crowd him out and get it away. They're going for more!
That was Belgium at their unstoppable best on the counter! Witsel does well to win the ball in their own half and lays a good pass for Hazard who had a lot of room down the middle. The Chelsea man looks up, picks up Lukaku with a delightful pass and the latter's finish is just exquisite! Good team goal that!
74' Substitution for Belgium

Carrasco is OFF
Dembele is ON
74' Substitution for Panama

Perez is OFF
Tejada is ON
73' Hazard does well to keep the ball with some neat little footwork, but he dwells too long on the ball and is dispossessed. 
72' Torres, the forward, tires a cheeky little chip from the edge of the box after some good build up play. Had the option to play Diaz on the right. Bad choice...Courtois untroubled...
71' Belgium aren't looking like they are going to ease off as Alderweireld tries to pick out Hazard on the let. Panama can't afford to drop their heads, it could get ugly...
Sweet play from Hazard on the left to create the chance as the Panama defenders were too glued to the Chelsea man. De Bruyne was totally free to receive the pass at the edge of the box and his brilliant trivela pass for Lukaku was virtually unmissable. Lukaku did the rest wit a clean header to make it two! 
68' Meunier finally ends the spell of possession with a darting cross from the right. Penedo does well to come out and clear it off Lukaku's head!
67' Pass, pass and pass...Belgium are dominating the ball at the moment and are extremely patient with their buildup play....
66' De Bruyne tries a crossfield pass but it's just too long for Meunier. Belgium are just too good off the ball and again, win possession back...
66' De Bruyne straight into the wall! Disappointing one that! Belgium manage to win the throw subsequently and are back in possession, however...
65' Godoy again stops the a neat one two between Hazard and Lukaku, but the ref didn't like it and awards a freekick in a dangerous position to the Belgians...KDB territory again...
64' So, we have a Torres up front and a Torres at the back for Panama. Interesting. 
63' Substitutions for Panama

Barcenas is OFF
Gabriel Torres is ON
Jose Rodriguez is OFF
Diaz is ON
62' Keep ball from Belgium at the moment and Alderweireld joins in the attack. Meunier's cross in the end is deflected for a corner. Almost looped back into Penedo's goal there!
61' Lukaku drops deep to combine really well with Mertens. He receives the return pass but his control let's him down! Had a clear shot on goal had he collected it cleanly there. Bread and better usually for him...
60' Belgium resume play with a goalkick and knock it around in their own half before moving forward. Haven't seen them attack much after the goal...
59' Booking for Vertonghen for a nasty tackle on Cooper.
59' Half a chance for the Panama attack as Rodriguez was through on goal but his shot was wide. Need more composure there...
57' Booking for Godoy. Pretty silly that. Why would you test the ref's patience?
56' If the Brazil game against the Swiss showed us anything, then it's to be wary after scoring the first and not letting the foot off the gas. Belgium can't afford to take the Panama attack lightly here who look a lot more dynamic going forward now...
55' Torres' shot is just over the bar! Good cross by Barcenas. Belgium perhaps get away with it there! 
54' STUNNING SAVE BY COURTOIS! Murillo was nicely picked out by Davis but the custodian comes out to foil the shot! Murillo should have taken it first time! Corner!
54' Panama have a spell on the ball in midfield but...
53' Oh, Eden! brilliant control to hold up the play in the midfield but his cross is just a bit misdirected. Panama manage to get the ball away, but it could be coming back pretty soon!
52' NEARLY! We've had some brilliant freekicks so far and De Bruyne's freekick wasn't that far away! Just didn't get the dip to trouble Penedo!
52' Promising position this as KDB is on the ball...
51' Booking for Murillo for that tackle on Carrasco...
51' That goal should help the Belgians play with a lot more freedom as Carrasco breaks forward before being fouled by Murillo...freekick in a dangerous position again...
50' Panama break forward but Witsel does well to intercept Davis' pass. That sets the Belgians on a counter again! End to end all of a sudden!
49' Again, Belgium win a freekick but the cross by KDB is cleared by Torres, this time pretty well.
What a hit son! JEEZ! HOLY MOLY! The goal of the tournament? You bet! Panama though they had cleared the cross by Meunier, but Escobar's header fell to Mertens who didn't mess about and just smashed it in from the right!
46' Belgium win an early freekick as Mertens is caught by Davis. A good little spell of passing. Can Belgium make the freekick count?
Peeeeeeeeeeeeep! Belgium get us started, shooting from right to left! Let's hope for a few goals in the second half!
And the teams are out! Second half action is moments away! 
As I said before, a lot of sparring, but Panama have done really well to avoid the big Belgian blows. The quality of attack Belgium have, you would have though they'll just smash aside Panama. But Gomez's side have defended sturdily and deserve to be in the game.

Second half in a few, ladies and gentlemen! Stick around. Still a lot to come from he two teams!
Peeeeeeeeeeep! Half time!
45+2' A few late crosses into the Panama box but they deal with it expertly! 
45+2' Yellow card shown to Barcenas
45+1' A bit of late press from Panama as they push Belgium to their own half...
2 minutes to be added on...
44' Torres again with a pretty good interception. Just lazily lifts his leg and intercept's Carrasco's pass. The ref didn't do a favour there either as the second ball was there for Belgium to win. His touch helped the Panama defence get it out of the box!
43' The Panama defence again is well-structured as the Belgians are knocking it around in midfield, with almost no opening in front of there...
42' Cooper with an effort from around 25 yards! Nothing doing though. Way over. With minutes remaining before the first half draws to a close, will we get a goal here?
41' MERTENS! DAMN! Sized up a cross from KDB from a corner and nearly smashed it in! Just didn't get the direction! Belgium getting close here...
40' Almost a good pass by Hazard! Lukaku made a good run to get in behind the Panama defence, but Penedo is sharp to come off his line and clear it...
39' Torres scuffs his effort from the corner, but Panama are a lot more involved now...
38' Carrasco clears for a corner as Panama manage a mini break of their own! Good piece of skill by Davis to trap the ball on the left and whip one in...
38' PENEDO! WHAT A SAVE! Hazard, with his typical buccaneering run on the right, unleashes one to the near post, but the custodian reacts really well to deny them!
36' Again, Belgium manage to get some of the lads in the office up, only to let them down with the final pass. Lukaku was there to be found in the box, but he fouled Torres while trying to reach the ball and the ref's whistle goes!
35' KDB has been roughed up by the Panama midfield. Perhaps the only way to stop him! He pings a pass while breaking, trying to find Lukaku, but it's overhit and Penedo collects safely...
34' Panama break! Or I should I say counter-break! Panama make that quick switch from the midfield to the left and Rodriguez wins a corner! First corner for Panama!
34' Witsel wins a freekick at the half way line and Belgium immediately get the ball moving...
33' My man Hernan Gomez is so pleased with the way his side are playing. He barks out a few instructions, with a wide little smile on his face. Brilliant!
32' Godoy does exceptionally well to win the ball in midfield and shift to to get past Witsel, but the Belgium midfield is extremely wary and manage to wrestle the ball back...
31' Escobar again with a good interception, albeit for a throw in. A long pass by Vertonghen was intended for Lukaku, the Panama defender had to get there...
30' Murillo manages to clear the cross as Belgium play it short. A good clearance as well, getting it out of danger...
29' Corner as Cooper manages to get his head, rather face, on KDB's whipped in freekick. Got to hurt, that. Corner to Belgium...
28' KDB on the ball...
27' Murillo fouls Hazard and the Belgians get a freekick on the left. Good position this...
26' Belgium pass it around a bit in their own half now, patiently looking for an opening. Penedo hasn't really had much to to do in fairness...
25' HAZARD! WAY WIDE! Not what he's known for. De Bruyne again with a nice little pass but the Chelsea man's shot was wild and doesn't trouble Penedo...
24' Barcenas with a good little run on the right but Witsel is there to get the block in! The Belgians then break forward and Hazard's incredible little touch let's Mertens pick out Meunier. But Escobar is there to mop it up! End to end stuff!
23' Gomez's pass for Rodriguez is just a bit over-hit. Panama just need that little bit of composure in the attacking half. They won't be getting too many...
22' KDB just lets one fly from about 20 yards! Penedo saw that one till the end and watch it sail over the bar though. Don't let him do that again, Panama!
21' WHAT A CHALLENGE BY TORRES! De Bruyne did really well to win the ball in the attacking third and his pass to Lukaku looked inevitable, but jeez! Torres with the last-gasp block! You have been Torres-ed!
20' Panama make a rare foray forward but Belgium are just so damn good at the back. They easily smother the chance and maraud forward...
19' Mertens nearly catches the Panama defence off guard as he takes a quick shot at the near post from the corner, but it hits the side netting. You can't do that against a Belgium attack!
19' Yellow card shown to Eric Davies for a late tackle on Mertens.
18' Another good move by Belgium on the right as Meunier and Mertens combine well to win a corner. 
17' Barcenas, you speedy little customer! Nearly gets the better of Vertonghen with his burst of pace, but hey, it's Vertonghen. He redeems himself and get's fouled in the process...Freekick to Belgium...
16' Belgium with more of the possession but a lot of sparring here, no blows landed just yet. Panama are doing well and win the ball in midfield here...
15' Davis takes the freekick, and it's as rubbish as rubbish gets. Belgium look to move forward, but Lukaku's caught offside
14' YELLOW CARD! Thomas Meunier goes into the book for a foul on Rodriguez. The wing-back was guilty of using his arm to strike him on the stomach. 
13' Nothing from the attacking front by Panama so far as the three Belgian defenders look impressive. A combination of pace, height and aggression. Will be tough breaching that!
12' Almost a calamitous back pass by Torres who didn't anticipate Hazard behind him. Penedo was slow to react there, but Hazard can only intercept and hit the side netting...
10' Belgium again combine on the right with Meunier and Mertens but the final pass is lacking. Good shape by the Panama defenders there. 
9' Mertens runs into a Cul de Sac as Murillo does well to smother his run on the left. Those tricky little feet haven't been used to full effect yet, lads and lasses...
8' Just spotted all three of the Belgian defenders in the Panama half. Yeah, they are going for the jugular already, this early on...
7' Mertens and Hazard combine beautifully but again, Torres does well to get the block in. Seemed like a blatant dive from Mertens there...gets away without a booking for simulation...
6' Carrasco with time to take the shot but it's straight at Penedo! Good move by the Belgians starting from a marauding run by Meunier! Close call that!
5' Spell of possession in the attacking half for Belgium but the move comes to nothing. Lukaku and KDB did well but Carrasco's cross didn't find anyone and Panama have a throw in...
4' Oooh, Davies's freekick was cleared by Vertonghen, but Panama win the second ball and Gomez tries to wrap his foot around it. Woefully hit though and Courtois collects safely...
3' Boyata fouls Cooper and Panama have a dangerous freekick on the right! Can they whip one in for Torres here?
2' Panama get their footing on the ball and Rodriguez is nearly in. The pass from Barcenas was just a tad overhit! Good start this!
1' KDB immediately finds a smashing through pass for the on rushing Carrasco and his cross to Lukaku isn't a bad one either. Lukaku's shot is just over the bar! Looked like it took a deflection, but a goalkick nonetheless! 
Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Kickoff! Panama get us started, shooting from right to left in the all-white kit! Belgium are in their all-red kit! Boom, fellas!
The pre-match pleasantries are done and we're all set for kickoff!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the teams are in the tunnel and we're moments away from kickoff...
Right before Panama sealed qualification, Panama assistant coach Edgar Carvajal said to the media, "We have two homes: our own and our team. You look back and see him in the middle: a leader, a role model. We always talked about him, how we had to win in Amílcar’s name."

Amilcar Henriquez  was of course the player who was shot a dozen times while leaving his home in what was a barbaric act. 
Just can't get enough of Roman Torres, the Panama defender with the dreadlocks. Jeez, the man is built like a tank and plays in the MLS and his goal helped Panama get to the World Cup.

Romelu Lukaku will be the man he'll be marking and he's capable enough to deal with the Manchester United star who'll have a point to prove in the World Cup after a pretty quiet one in 2014. Keep an eye out on that battle.
Belgium vs Panama - Bring it on already!

A team who are supposedly dark horses against a side who'll be making their bow in the World Cup finals for the first time; Belgium vs Panama promises to be a thriller. I mean, if you look at the players Belgium have, you can't help but think they are going to breeze through the group and against Panama, but like we saw yesterday, never rule out the lesser-known side. Mexico and Switzerland cause upsets.

Panama will start brightly. There will be quite a few jangled nerves, obviously, but expect Hernan Gomez to gee up his players before the make their way to the pitch.

They've been through a lot, the sudden passing of Amilcar Henriquez broke the players but at the same time made them step it up even more. Qualifying in place of the US of A took some doing and they aren't here to just make up the numbers. No one in the World Cup is, to be honest.

A lot of fans today will be looking at that Belgium team boasting an incredible attack. Hazard, Mertens, Lukaku, De Bruyne...WOOF!

This is Amit Mishra and I'll be your host for the game. You can drop in a tweet @DerStoic for feedbacks or email me here - This might eventually become a one-sided game, but let's hope the World Cup debutants Panama can impress and make it a night to remember!  
Belgium vs Panama - Confirmed Lineups

Belgium confirmed XI: Courtois, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Boyata, Carrasco, Witsel, De Bruyne, Meunier, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku

Panama Confirmed XI: Penedo, Davis, Escobar, Torres, Murillo, Gomez, Godoy, Rodriguez, Cooper, Barcenas, Perez
Belgium vs Panama - Kickoff Information

Date: 18th June 2018
Kickoff time: 16:00 (BST), 20:30 (IST)
Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium

Belgium vs Panama - Team News

You’ve got to feel for Belgium defender Laurent Ciman who is on standby and isn’t in Russia despite the injuries suffered by Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen. The two centre-backs are not fit for the game but Belgium have enough depth. In fact, they have a quality starting XI as Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will play at the heart of the defence.

Dedryck Boyata is expected to complete the back three. The former Manchester City and current Celtic centre-half has had his moments of madness in the Scottish Premiership, but Roberto Martinez trusts him to get the job done.

The Belgium attack though…something else. Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku…phew…it’ll take something to stop them. To add to that, they have Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel and Mousa Dembele as midfield options!

Panama have no real injury worries and considering this will be their first World Cup, expect them to go all gung-ho in Hernan Gomez’s attacking setup. The Colombian has taken three sides to the World Cup finals, Colombia, Ecuador and his current side Panama, and he’ll hope to leave an indelible mark in the competition with the underdogs.

Belgium vs Panama - Key Players

Midfield control will be key for Belgium as Panama will setup to hit them on the break. Like we saw yesterday, Mexico cause a lot of problems to a German midfield. The likes of Kroos and Khedira forgot about their defensive responsibilities, so I’ve identified Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne as the key players for the Red Devils. They might be silky smooth on the ball, but their transition from attack to defence has to be on the agenda today for Belgium to avoid slipping up.

Panama’s centre-backs have Fidel Escobar and Roman Torres will have their task cut out tonight and will need to come up with big performances. The latter scored the goal that got Panama to the World Cup. Blas Perez, their centre-forward and all-time top-scorer might be 37, but the kick of playing in the World Cup might make him a lot younger. Watch out for the wily old fox in the box.

Belgium vs Panama - Probable Lineups

Belgium probable XI: Courtois, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Boyata, Carrasco, Witsel, De Bruyne, Meunier, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku

Panama probable XI: Penedo, Davis, Escobar, Torres, Machado, Gomez, Godoy, Diaz, Cooper, Barcenas, Perez

Belgium vs Panama - Form Guide

Belgium: W-W-D-W-W
Panama: L-L-W-D-L

Belgium vs Panama - Head To Head

The two sides have never faced each other. So we’re hoping for a few fireworks later today!
N. Chadli
A. Witsel
K. De Bruyne
T. Hazard
D. Mertens
R. Lukaku
assist: E. Hazard
M. Dembélé
Y. Carrasco
L. Tejada
B. Pérez
R. Lukaku
assist: K. De Bruyne
I. Díaz
José Rodríguez
G. Torres
E. Bárcenas
J. Vertonghen
A. Godoy
M. Murillo
A. Cooper
E. Bárcenas
D. Mertens
E. Davis
T. Meunier
Panama (4-1-4-1)
Hernán Darío Gómez Jaramillo (Manager)
T. Courtois
J. Vertonghen
D. Boyata
T. Alderweireld
Y. Carrasco
A. Witsel
K. De Bruyne
T. Meunier
E. Hazard
D. Mertens
R. Lukaku
J. Penedo
E. Davis
F. Escobar
R. Torres
M. Murillo
G. Gómez
José Rodríguez
A. Godoy
A. Cooper
E. Bárcenas
B. Pérez
Panama (4-1-4-1)
Hernán Darío Gómez Jaramillo (Manager)
Belgium Subs
M. Batshuayi
K. Casteels
N. Chadli
M. Dembélé
L. Dendoncker
M. Fellaini
T. Hazard
A. Januzaj
S. Mignolet
Y. Tielemans
Panama Subs
A. Arroyo
F. Baloy
J. Calderón
H. Cummings
I. Díaz
R. Avila
A. Machado
L. Ovalle
V. Pimentel
Alex Rodríguez
L. Tejada
G. Torres
15 SHOTS 7
17 FOULS 18
Pos Club P W D L GD Pts
Group A
1 Uruguay 3 3 0 0 5 9
2 Russia 3 2 0 1 4 6
3 Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 -5 3
4 Egypt 3 0 0 3 -4 0
Group B
1 Spain 3 1 2 0 1 5
2 Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Iran 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Morocco 3 0 1 2 -2 1
Group C
1 France 3 2 1 0 2 7
2 Denmark 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Peru 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Australia 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group D
1 Croatia 3 3 0 0 6 9
2 Argentina 3 1 1 1 -2 4
3 Nigeria 3 1 0 2 -1 3
4 Iceland 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group E
1 Brazil 3 2 1 0 4 7
2 Switzerland 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Serbia 3 1 0 2 -2 3
4 Costa Rica 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group F
1 Sweden 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Mexico 3 2 0 1 -1 6
3 Korea Republic 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Germany 3 1 0 2 -2 3
Group G
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 7 9
2 England 3 2 0 1 5 6
3 Tunisia 3 1 0 2 -3 3
4 Panama 3 0 0 3 -9 0
Group H
1 Colombia 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 0 4
3 Senegal 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Poland 3 1 0 2 -3 3
PMatches Played
WMatches Won
DMatches Drawn
LMatches Lost
GDGoal Difference
PtsTotal Points
Tournament FIFA WC 2018 - Week 1
Stadium Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht
Match time Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 08:30 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 22:30 PM | Published: Jun 18, 2018 21:20 PM