Sunday 16 December 2018

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku bag braces as Belgium put Tunisia to the sword

Belgium 5 Tunisia 1

Belgium's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring their fourth goal. REUTERS/Carl Recine
Belgium's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring their fourth goal. REUTERS/Carl Recine

JJ Bull

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard scored two goals each as Belgium ran out comfortable winners against Tunisia to qualify for the knock-out stages from Group G.

While England needed a last-gasp Harry Kane winner to overcome Tunisia on Monday night, Belgium had no such problems as Roberto Martinez's side converted their chances in Moscow.

Chelsea star Hazard opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he was fouled on the edge of the box after a one-two with Lukaku. The referee correctly adjudged him to be in the area and he slotted the penalty home.

Ten minutes later, Lukaku doubled the lead with a neat finish from a Dries Mertens pass, only for Dylan Bronn to give Tunisia a lifeline two minutes later with a firm header from a free-kick.

But Belgium's big names continued to make chances and Lukaku claimed his second - and fourth of the tournament - with a deft touch over the goalkeeper in the third minute of added time.

Hazard added a fourth shortly after the restart when he showed great control and composure to slot the finish past the goalkeeper and two defenders in the 51st minute.

Lukaku was replaced with just over half an hour to go with Martinez eager to protect his star striker for their final group match against Gareth Southgate's side on Thursday evening.

Substitute Michy Batshuayi had three great chances in the final 13 minutes to add to Belgium's lead but had one effort cleared off the line, struck another close-range chance against the bar and saw his third saved by the keeper.

But Batshuayi finally got on the scoresheet in stoppage time when he slotted home Belgium's fifth.

Tunisia grabbed a late consolation through Wahbi Khazri but will be heading home after losing their second group match.

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