FIFA WC: Lukaku, Hazard braces help Belgium stun Tunisia 5-2

Moscow: Forward Romelu Lukaku and captain Eden Hazard smashed a brace each as third-ranked Belgium notched up a convincing 5-2 win over 21st ranked Tunisia in their second Group G clash of the ongoing 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup here at the Spartak Stadium on Saturday.

Heading into the match, Belgium were hoping to book their place in the last-16 of the showpiece event following their crushing 3-0 win over tournament debutants Panama.

Tunisia, on the other hand, were looking for their first win in the World Cup as they came off in the match after slumping to last-minute defeat at the hands of England in their opening match.

And Belgium were the one to make the breakthrough first as early as in the sixth minute of the match when captain Eden Hazard managed to convert the spot-kick to give his side 1-0 lead.

Hazard continued causing all sorts of trouble to Tunisia as he lined himself up for his second goal of the match in the 13th minute before Tunisia goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha made the save.

Just a minute later, Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi was given a yellow card for showing dissent following an appeal for a penalty was turned down.

The third-ranked team continued their possession over Tunisia throughout the first-half as Belgium doubled their lead in the 16th minute via Lukaku’s left-footed strike to the bottom right corner of the goalpost.

However, Tunisia’s defender Dylan Bronn guided the curling free kick from Wahbi Khazri inside the goalmouth to cut down Belgium’s lead in the 18th minute.

Belgium nearly managed to make it 3-1 after midfielder Yannick Ferreira Carrasco claimed a cross from the deep and went for the volley which was palmed away by goalkeeper Mustapha.

But, in the four minutes of added time in first half, Lukaku netted his second goal of the match as the opening half ended with Belgium standing at 3-1.

Though Tunisia started the second-half offensively and managing to put Belgium back-foot, Hazard managed to complete his brace in the 51st minute to give his side a massive lead.

In the final minute, forward Michy Batshuayi scored off a splendid ball in the box to hand Belgium 5-1 lead in the match before three minutes were added.

Though Tunisia forward Wahbi Khazri struck a consolation goal in the stoppage time, the match ended 5-2 in Belgium’s favour.

With the win, the Hazard-led side secures a place in the knockout round from Group G ahead of England.
Tunisia, on the other hand, knocked out of the mega football event.

On a related note, Belgium will next take on England in their third and final group match on June 28 at the Kaliningrad Stadium.(ANI)