World Cup 2018: Lukaku and Hazard at the double as Belgium crush Tunisia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.06.2018
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World Cup 2018: Lukaku and Hazard at the double as Belgium crush Tunisia

Belgium are in the driving seat in Group G after an impressive victory over Tunisia, whose hopes of qualifying for the last 16 now hang by a thread. Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard were the stars for the Red Devils.

Belgium 5-2 Tunisia, Spartak Stadium
(Hazard pen 6, 51', Lukaku 16, 45+3, Batshuayi 90 — Bronn 18, Khazri 90'+3)

Romelu Lukaku moved level with Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the golden boot as he scored twice in a thrashing of Tunisia in Moscow.

Lukaku now has four goals in the tournament and was Belgium's leading light again, as Tunisia had no answer to his pace and power in one of the most open and entertaining games yet at this tournament.

Belgium went into this game looking to take control of Group G, which also contains England, who play Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday. With this display of ruthless attacking football, the Red Devils now have a healthy goal difference of plus six, and will fancy their chances of topping the group.

Tunisia's misery started early, when they conceded a penalty in the sixth minute, allowing Eden Hazard the opportunity to convert from the spot — and the Belgian captain took full advantage.

Lukaku doubled Belgium's lead with a low drive into the bottom corner, but Dylan Bronn offered hope for Tunisia when his header halfed the deficit. That hope was short-lived though, as Lukaku's delicate finish over Tunisia keeper Ben Mustapha just before half time proved a killer blow.

Hazard made it four early in the second half and while both him and his former Chelsea teammate Lukaku were withdrawn before they had the chance to get their hat-tricks, Michy Batshuayi came off the bench and eventually got the fifth after going close with three misses in siy extraordinary minutes.

A late Wahbi Khazri strike was the final meaningful kick of the game and restored some of Tunisia's pride, but they will be left hoping Panama pull off an unlikely win over England on Sunday to keep their hopes alive.Belgium, meanwhile, are moving up the gears nicely in this tournament.

As it happened:

FT Belgium 5-2 Tunisia — It's all over as we see seven goals in Moscow, the highest of any game so far at this World Cup. Belgium march on and now have a goal difference of +6, which could prove vital when it come to deciding who tops Group G. Tunisia will be out if Engand get at least a point against Panama on Sunday, which you would expect them to do.

90'+3 GOAL! Belgium 5-2 Tunisia — Tunisia have one back. A cutback from the right is scuffed into the bottom corner by Khazri to at least restore some pride for the Tunisians. 

90' GOAL! Belgium 5-1 Tunisia — Batshuayi has his goal, and it's assisted by another substitute in Tielemans, whose deep cross is slid in at the far post. 

86' Mertens is replaced by Tielemans.

85' Both teams going through the paces now. The result was decided long ago. 

82' What more must Batshuayi do to score here? He could quite easily have had a six-minute hat-trick. Instead, he's got nothing.

81' Batshuayi again! This is getting ridicuous now for the substitute, who has come so close to scoring three times in the last few minutes. This time De Bruyne's cross finds Batshuayi at the far post, but Batshuayi's sweetly struck shot is straight at Ben Mustapha. He gets another chance on the rebound, but floats his shot wide.

80' Off the bar! Batshuayi so close again as Carrasco's shot from distance is fumbled straight to Batshuayi, whose instinctive shot comes back off the underside of the bar and bounces away. It seemed easier to score!

79' A lull.

76' Off the line! Batshuayi almost finds Belgium's fifth, latching onto De Bruyne's pass down the left-wing channel but is unable to lift the ball over Ben Mustapha, who did well to get his body in front of the ball. 

73' Vertonghen is back on...

71' Vertonghen and Sliti clash heads, and Vertonghen seems to have come off the worse. The Tottenham defender looks a bit groggy and play stops while he is treated.

67' Hazard is also taken off. Two goals for him and another very good day at the office for the Belgium skipper. Michy Batshuayi, of Borussia Dortmund for the second haf of last season, is on.

62' Carrasco has a go from the edge of the box, but it whistles past the Tunisia post.

59' Lukaku is withdrawn to a standing ovation. No hat-trick today, but a fine display again and he's earned his extra rest ahead of the England game. He also has a slight foot injury and little point taking a risk.

56' Sassi spots Courtois off his line and hits a long ranger that alomost left the Belgium (and Chelsea) keeper red-faced.

53' That goal looks to be the killer blow. Belgium are absolutey devastating going forward, albeit against inferior opposition.

51' GOAL! Belgium 4-1 Tunisia — Hazard makes it four! Ben Mustapha misjudges a long ball forward as Hazard taps it around him and finishes into the empty net.

50' Chance for Tunisia. Cross comes in from the left and captain Khazri throws himself at the ball, but can't keep it on target as he lunges to reach it.

47' De Bruyne fires in another low cross from the right, but this time Alderweireld pops up in the box and sends his shot just wide.

46' SECOND HALF. We're back underway.

HT — Belgium 3-1 Tunisia. And breathe....

45+3 GOAL! Belgium 3-1 Tunisia — Lukaku makes it three! The Manchester United striker keeps himself onside to latch onto through pass, and Lukaku delicately lifts it over the advancing Ben Mustapha for a lovely finish. Belgium cruising again, and Lukaku level with Ronaldo in the race for that golden boot.

45'+1 Chance for Belgium as De Bruyne gets into a dangerous position on the right but his cross is just too quick for Lukaku and it flashes cross the face of goal.

45' There will be four additional minutes at the end of the half.

41' Tunisia are forced into another change. Syam Ben Youssef is the latest player to be stretchered off and is replaced by Benalouane. That's half of the Tunisia defence off already...

39' Ben Youssef chests down and attempts an audacious volley into the top right corner. It’s a decent attempt, but always going high and wide.

37' Both sets of players take a swig of water. It has been a relentless first half so it's no surprise they're parched.

Russland WM 2018 Belgien gegen Tunesien (Reuters/G. Dukor)

Belgium their first of three first half goals against Tunisia in Moscow.

35' Such an open game! 

34' Meunier crosses low from the right. Ben Mustapha should claim easily, but nearly spills it at the feet of Mertens.

33' Tunisia are coming back into the game now after that blistering Belgium start. Problem for them though, is that they are leaving themselves open as they push for an equalizer.

30' Decent chance for Tunisia as Belgium only half clear a cross from the right straight to Sassi, who tees himself up well but drags his low shot wide from the edge of the box. 

26' Belgium tearing through Tunisia at will. They can't handle Lukaku's power and pace, and the Manchester United striker bursts forward again, but this time his heavy touch allows Ben Mustapha to get there. The keeper actually caught Lukaku in the box, but Lukaku stayed on his feet — much to his credit.

23' Bronn has a serious looking knee injury and won't be able to continue. He is being stretchered off the field. Maguez will come on.

21' There is a break in play while the Tunisia goal scorer Bronn is treated for a knee injury. He appears to have fallen awkwardly.

 18' GOAL! Belgium 2-1 Tunisia — Tunisia have one back! Barely two minutes after conceding a second, Khazri's inswinging free-kick is glanced in by Bronn and Tunisia are back in this! 

16' GOAL! Belgium 2-0 Tunisia — Lukaku makes it two! Mertens drives forward and picks out Lukaku, who simply waited for the right moment and fired into the bottom corner. That's three for Lukaku, and he moves to within a goal of Ronaldo in the race for the golden boot.

12' Nice break by Belgium. Meunier wins it and feeds Lukaku down the right, and his cross his met by Hazard, but the Chelsea forward doesn't make a great contact this time and Ben Mustapha is able to make comfortable save.

10' Belgium are swarming Tunisia at every opportunity and simplay not letting them rest. Tunisia yet to really leave their half of the field.

8' Replays show that contact was just inside the box and Belgium have their reward for a strong start here. Tunisia struggling to get to grips with them.

Russland WM 2018 Belgien gegen Tunesien (Reuters/C. Hartmann)

Eden Hazard gives Belgium the lead from the spot in the sixth minute.

6' GOAL! Belgium 1-0 Tunisia — Hazard rolls the ball into the bottom corner and Belgium lead in Moscow!

5' PENALTY! Belgium's Hazard is tripped by Ben Youssef and the referee points to the spot! The question is, was it in the box?

2' Early chance for Lukaku, who races through on goal, but Tunisia goakeeper Ben Mustapha is quick off his line to clear just in time.

1' KICK OFF! And we're off...

13.55 The players are out, the national anthems done, and we're just about ready to go in Moscow...

13:50 Here are the teams...

13:45 CET Hello everyone. Day 10 of the World Cup will soon be underway, with in-form Belgium taking on Tunisia at Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Belgium need a win to stay in charge of Group G, Tunisia need a win to stay in the tournament.

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