(World Cup) Russia 2018 Belgium 3-0 Panama, Flying start for the Red Devils

Belgium overcame a slow start to beat World Cup debutants Panama 3-0 at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Monday evening encounter.

Napoli forward Dries Mertens lifted the crowd with a stunning volley opener after a first half goalless draw before Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice in five minutes to seal the points in Group G.

Eden Hazard was lively from the off, enjoying both of Belgium best chances by first fizzing a shot from 15 yards wide of the near post before testing Jaime Penedo with a similar effort minutes later.
Panama rarely ventured across the halfway line but looked comfortable letting a Belgium team lacking in invention and threat come out them.

Belgium needed a moment of magic spark them into life and got just that two minutes after the restart.
Mertens found space on the right flank and floated a ball in towards Lukaku, Panama weakly headed clear and the Napoli forward picked his spot and sent a dipping volley back over Penedo for the opener.

Belgium immediately started playing with more urgency, with Kevin De Bruyne venturing further forward after previously taking up a deeper holding role.
After a scare from Panama when Michael Murillo ran through on goal, which Thibaut Courtois saved well, Belgium doubled their lead through Lukaku thanks to a fine assist from De Bruyne.

Hazard worked the ball into space on the left, dragging defenders towards him before spotting De Bruyne who took one touch before threading a pass towards Lukaku to head in from six yards.
Panama were struggling with fitness as the game wore on and Lukaku added a third shortly afterwards, a dink over Penedo, to what the game beyond the World Cup debutants

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