Belgium's Romelu Lukaku a doubt for England clash, says coach Roberto Martinez

Jun 28, 2018, 19:24
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku a doubt for England clash, says coach Roberto Martinez

The World Cup does not care about generations, he said, nor individuals. Or it could be a battle of B teams.

"With a two-goal lead we should have controlled the game a little bit better", Martinez said in his post match interview.

Romelu Lukaku's brace put him level with Cristiano Ronaldo as the competition's leading scorer with four goals apiece.

Lukaku's performance vs Tunisia however caught the eye of many for more than one reason.

Lukaku also became the first player to score two or more goals in consecutive World Cup games since Diego Maradona in 1986.

However, Courtois says it is important to continue building momentum throughout a tournament, while adding that the fact numerous Belgium players are facing their Premier League team-mates adds extra incentive.

We get it, Roberto, but in Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku you have an attacking trident as captivating to watch as Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Hazard came off nine minutes later with a calf problem, and forward Dries Mertens came out in the 86th after an ankle issue.

After racking up two wins and a goal difference of plus-six Belgium are virtually assured of advancing but it is not yet guaranteed - and they will be aware that they will need to tighten up at the back to handle the threat of the big guns deeper into the tournament.

"For our country, that would be a very hard mindset to have", Southgate said of the possibility of taking it easy. "We played much better than we did in the first game".

Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld echoed that sentiment. "The European Championship was also something different", he said.

Belgium's team players celebrate after Eden Hazard scored their side's first goal during the group G match between Belgium and Tunisia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 23, 2018. "But like any other player he knows well that what matters is improving as a team".

At a World Cup players want to play every match, England's Lingard said, "but you've got to listen to the gaffer (coach)".

"Today what I saw is a team that it was prepared to suffer, prepared to work for each other, and we look well-balanced in that respect", Martinez said. "I am ready if the coach needs me".

England and Belgium have identical records and goal tallies heading into their group decider, so a draw in Kaliningrad would have Federation Internationale de Football Association consulting its tiebreaker rules to determine the group victor.

Both teams have confirmed passage to the knockout phases already, and many have suggested that finishing top of the group could be a disadvantage with the way the draw could map out.

Japan, Senegal and Colombia are all possible opponents for Belgium and England in the round of 16. The Group G runner-up plays the victor of Group H.

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