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World CupCroatia 0-0 Belgium: The Red Devils' stalemate against competitors Croatia not enough...

Croatia 0-0 Belgium: The Red Devils’ stalemate against competitors Croatia not enough to seal a spot in the RO16

Croatia 0-0 Belgium
FIFA World Cup
Group F
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 43,984

The World Cup is over for Belgium. The Red Devils failed to win the last group match against Croatia. And were therefore stranded in the group stage. Croatia and Morocco advanced to the round of 16. The losing 2018 finalist will face the winner of Group E, either Spain, Japan or Costa Rica.

Belgium entered the second oldest team ever at a World Cup (average 31 years and 95 days), after Australia in 2010 against Germany (31 years and 118 days). The line-up had some surprises: Eden Hazard made way for Leandro Trossard and Dries Mertens had a starting place for the first time this World Cup, leaving Michy Batshuayi on the bench.

Belgium escaped when a penalty awarded to Croatia was cancelled. Yannick Carrasco fouled Andrej Kramaric, but in the run-up to that contact, Kramaric was a few millimetres offside with his shoulder. That was the most talked about moment of the first half. Belgium operated too sloppily and struggled to make a fist. The best chance before the break was for Dries Mertens, but he could not falter goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Romelu Lukaku made his appearance for Belgium at the start of the second half. The striker was already dangerous within minutes with a header from close range, to which Livakovic had a good answer. It wouldn’t be his only chance of the second half. On the other side, Thibaut Courtois also had to intervene three times in a short time. The keeper prevented goals from Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric, keeping Belgium going.

After an hour of play, Lukaku missed a huge chance for the opening goal: the substitute shot from close range on the post after Kevin De Bruyne hit the keeper. Moments later, Lukaku headed over the goal from a promising position, although the ball had already passed the back line before De Bruyne gave the cross. Four minutes before the end, Lukaku got his foot against the ball after a shot from Thomas Meunier, but he seemed to be offside and saw the ball fly wide. In the last minute a new chance arose for Lukaku after a cross from Thorgan Hazard. The striker only got the ball to the chest and ultimately did not know what to do with it.

Rohan Premkumar
Rohan Premkumarhttps://footballchase.com/
I love my job because I get to write about my favorite sports, soccer and football. Playing soccer and football are my favorite hobbies. I get to do what I love from home and make money. I'm a writer because of my need to share my passion with the world!