Monday 21 January 2019

World Cup player watch: Lukaku matches Ronaldo as Belgium run rampant

The latest in a daily look at what the players are up to in Russia sees the free-scoring Red Devils celebrate after trouncing Tunisia.

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game
Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game

By Alastair Reid, Press Association

The first game on day 10 of the 2018 World Cup rewarded viewers with goals galore as Belgium thumped Tunisia 5-2.

Romelu Lukaku’s brace put him level with Cristiano Ronaldo as the competition’s leading scorer with four goals apiece. Lukaku also became the first player to score two or more goals in consecutive World Cup games since Diego Maradona in 1986.

For Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld, the question over which player was the Greatest Of All Time – jokingly referred to as the Goat – had been answered.

Captain Eden Hazard also bagged two goals before Michy Batshuayi added a fifth. The emphatic win gave The Red Devils a maximum six points from their first two games and Batshuayi described his first World Cup goal as a “dream come true”.

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A dream come true !!! 🦇⚽️🏆

A post shared by Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) on

The day’s second game saw joy for Mexico but heartbreak for South Korea as goals from Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela gave El Tricolor their second win but condemned their opponents to a second defeat.

The win put Mexico top of Group F, making the late match between Germany and Sweden a must-win game for the defending champions.

Egypt and Liverpool star Mo Salah was criticised for meeting with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov at the start of the tournament.

However, seemingly unfazed by the earlier backlash and his country’s recent exit from the competition, Salah accepted honorary citizenship of Chechnya in Grozny on Friday night.

Fresh from their 2-0 win over Iceland, the Nigeria squad got some more good news as goalkeeper Carl Ikeme announced his cancer had gone into “complete remission”.

Wolves and Super Eagles goalkeeper Ikeme was diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago but “intense chemotherapy” has put him on the road back to health.

Kasper Schmeichel shed light on how the Denmark squad spend their off days, giving followers a guided tour of the food markets in Anapa before taking in the local sights and skills on the beach.

And despite being the oldest player in the Australia squad, veteran Socceroo Tim Cahill continues to be the most active on social media, today showing off his hairdressing skills for his followers.

Press Association

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