Romelu Lukaku on target as Belgium coast past Egypt in friendly
Belgium Romelu Lukaku on target as Belgium coast past Egypt in friendly
Belgium beat their fellow World Cup hopefuls Egypt with an assured 3-0 win in Brussels. Sticking with a three-man defence the Belgians, who are in Group G, the same as England, showed more cutting edge than in their goalless draw against Portugal on Saturday.
Romelu Lukaku, favoured as starting striker over Michy Batshuayi, thumped home from close range in the 2 7th minute, after Egyptâs 45-year-old keeper Essam El-Hadary spilled from Eden Hazard.World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players Read more
Hazard then made it 2-0 11 minutes later after Yannick Carrasco cut the ball back from the goal-line before Batshuayi, on for Lukaku, set up Marouane Fellaini for the third in stoppage time to complete a sixth straight game without a win for Egypt, who were without the recuperating Mohamed Salah.
Belgiumâs head coach, Roberto MartÃnez, had raised eyebrows by slotting Laurent Ciman into the place of injured captain Vicent Kompany. Ciman, who plays for Los Angeles FC, is officially only on the waiting list for Russia in case the Manchester City player, or Barcelonaâs Thomas Vermaelen, are still injured.
âIf those players are not in the squad, Laurent will be a straight replacement,â MartÃnez said, describing Ciman as a good fit for either injured defender.
The Sp aniard also insisted he was giving Kompany and Vermaelen, who are training with the squad, time to prove their fitness and said there could also be roles for Dedryck Boyata and Leander Dendoncker, depending on the opposition.
Meanwhile Panama, who are also in Group G in what is their first World Cup finals appearance, lost 1-0 to Norway. Bournemouthâs Joshua King got the decisive goal.
King chased down his own header and side-footed home in the fourth minute for his 13th goal in 34 games. Panama will head to the finals with just one goal from their five international matches in 2018. They had only one shot on target in Oslo and it follows last weekâs 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland.Topics
- World Cup 2018
- World Cup
- match reports
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