Belgium Has Been Eliminated From The World Cup Following A Draw With Croatia

Belgium Has Been Eliminated From The World Cup Following A Draw With Croatia

Belgium was eliminated from the World Cup after a goalless draw with Croatia on Thursday..

The Red Devils went into their Group F match against the Checkered Ones knowing that a draw would only suffice if Morocco lost to Canada.

The Atlas Lions, on the other hand, quickly established a two-goal lead in their match, forcing Belgium to fight for victory at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Belgium had chances, many of which were wasted by Romelu Lukaku in the final half hour, allowing Croatia to advance to the last 16 as runners-up to Morocco, who held on to win in Doha..

Croatia almost stunned Belgium by taking an early lead within 10 seconds of kickoff, with Ivan Perisic firing a shot wide of the far post after getting the better of Leander Dendoncker.

The early wake-up call benefited Belgium, with Yannick Carrasco forcing a save out of Dominik Livakovic shortly after Roberto Martinez’s team would have learned that Morocco had established a lead in the other match.

Belgium then stormed ahead thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s perfect through-ball to Dries Mertens, but the veteran forward could only send his effort high over the crossbar..

Croatia thought they had won a penalty when Carrasco collided with Andrej Kramaric, only for Belgium to be given a reprieve for offside after VAR bizarrely requested that the referee make the decision at the monitor rather than relying on technology.

The incident sapped the early energy out of the game, which suited Croatia as Morocco went 2-0 up against Canada, and they remained largely in control without producing anything noteworthy.

Josip Juranovic sent a shot off target from the edge of the area in the fourth minute of added time, emphasizing Belgium’s need for a change at the break..

That change was the introduction of Lukaku, who quickly made his presence known with a header at the back post, but Croatia responded with a period of relentless pressure at the other end.

Both Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric unleashed well-placed shots from around 18 yards, forcing Courtois to be alert to parry each effort away from goal.

Nonetheless, Belgium should have led the way. After a last-ditch block denied Carrasco, the ball ricocheted into the path of Lukaku, who struck the inside of the post from eight yards out..

Belgium Has Been Eliminated From The World Cup Following A Draw With Croatia

Lukaku also missed the target with a close-range header, albeit after the ball had already gone out of play, but the nation’s record goalscorer appeared to be lacking confidence in the final third.

Although both teams had their chances, clear-cut chances were few and far between until Lukaku squandered another with four minutes remaining, the substitute flicking a close-range chance wide of the post.

Soon after, Thorgan Hazard’s perfectly-floated cross found Lukaku at the back post, only for the Inter Milan forward to fail to anticipate the ball reaching him and it instead bouncing off him into the grateful hands of Livakovic..

Belgium Has Been Eliminated From The World Cup Following A Draw With Croatia

In extra time, a fantastic intervention from Josko Gvardiol prevented Lukaku from scoring from three yards out, and that proved to be the final opportunity as Croatia advanced to the knockout stages..

Published on: December 1, 2022. at: 7:19 pm

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