- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- De Bruyne88'
- 1st Half
Belgium - Panama
World Cup - 18 June 2018
World Cup – Follow the Football match between Belgium and Panama live with Eurosport. The match starts at 16:00 on 18 June 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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It's job done for Belgium as they complete a comfortable victory over a poor, but spirited Panama side.
- OffAxel WitselBelgium
- OnNacer ChadliBelgium
Nacer Chadli comes on for Witsel.
There will be four minutes of additional time to be played at the end of this one-sided encounter.
- Yellow cardKevin De BruyneBelgium
Yet another booking for the collection, as De Bruyne is penalised for a high challenge on Tejada.
Tejada is through on goal... but Courtois makes a fantastic save to prevent a certain goal. It wouldn't have counted though - the offside flag was raised.
- OffDries MertensBelgium
- OnThorgan HazardBelgium
Thorgan Hazard replaces Mertens for the remaining seven minutes of normal time.
Belgium are awarded yet another free-kick - this time about 25 yards in a central position. De Bruyne steps away to allow Hazard to have a go... but his effort is straight at the Panama wall.
Lukaku's ball over the top finds Mertens who is surely in an offside position... but the flag stays down! He crosses for Meunier but eventually the whistle blows for offside.
To their credit Panama are still trying to play the game in the right way - and they almost grab a consolation!
Cooper swings in a dangerous cross but it just evades Tejada who would have scored if he had made a connection.
- GoalRomelu LukakuBelgium
GOAAAAALLLLL! Belgium 3-0 Panama
A clever break from the Belgian is finished by Lukaku who grabs his second of the evening.
Witsel wins the ball in midfield, he feeds Hazard who drives forward before slipping through Lukaku. The Man United forward is as composed as ever, clipping the ball over Penedo.
- OffYannick CarrascoBelgium
- OnMousa DembéléBelgium
Carrasco makes way for Mousa Dembele in Belgium's midfield.
- OffBlas PérezPanama
- OnLuis TejadaPanama
It's an attacking change from the minnows, as Perez is replaced by Luis Tejada.
Lukaku's international goalscoring record simply cannot be questioned...
- GoalRomelu LukakuBelgium
GOAAAAALLLLL! Belgium 2-0 Panama
De Bruyne uses his pace to beat a defender before delivering a beautiful cross with the outside of his boot which is turned home by the head of Lukaku!
The referee consults VAR to determine if the forward was offside... but no, it will count. Belgium extend their lead.
Mertens' strike was the only moment of quality the game has had to offer thus far - and it separates the sides.
It is De Bruyne to shoot... but it's straight at the wall.
Godoy, who has just been booked, pulls back Hazard and concedes yet another free-kick. This is another decent shooting opportunity for Belgium. Who will take it? Mertens and De Bruyne are debating it...
- OffÉdgar Yoel BárcenasPanama
- OnGabriel TorresPanama
DOUBLE PANAMA SUB!
Rodriguez and Barcanes off are replaced by Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz.
Vertonghen rises highest to meet Merten's corner but his header is comfortably saved by Penedo.
Alderweireld joins the Belgian attack, getting forward to deliver a cross. Torres clears but only as far as Mertens whose shot is deflected behind for another corner.
- Yellow cardJan VertonghenBelgium
The game's SEVENTH booking is issued to Vertonghen. A number of players are having to tread carefully for the remaining half-hour.
Barcenas times his run to perfection to latch onto a through-pass, he checks onto his right foot but screws his effort wide of the post from the top of the box. He should be hitting the target from there.
- Yellow cardAníbal GodoyPanama
Godoy talks himself into a booking, complaining about the referee's decision to award Belgium a free-kick.
Carrasco falls asleep, allowing Murillo to latch onto a ball over the top unchallenged. Courtois is off his line quickly though to block the shot with his knee. That's the closest Panama have came.
De Bruyne lifts his free-kick up and over the wall but it swerves away from the top corner, with the goalkeeper struggling to get there. Close.
- Yellow cardMichael MurilloPanama
Another booking, this time for Panama's Murillo for a late challenge on Carrasco. Belgium have a free-kick in dangerous territory. De Bruyne is over the ball...
- Yellow cardArmando CooperPanama
YELLOW CARD! Cooper goes into the book for a foul on Hazard.
The game was really crying out for a goal and no longer can Panama sit back and play for a clean-sheet; they have to come out and try to find an equaliser.
- GoalDries MertensBelgium
GOAAAAALLLLL! Belgium 1-0 Panama
A stunning goal from Mertens breaks the deadlock! Panama can only partially clear a cross from the right, the loose ball falls to Mertens whose dipping, unstoppable first-time volley is guided into the top corner from the top of the box. Great technique.
We haven't seen a goalless game during the 2018 World Cup thus far but Panama would be quite delighted if it ended this way, though there is a long, long way to go.
- 2nd Half
And the second-half is underway. Roberto Martinez played with the handbrake on during the first period - will we see a different approach for the remaining 45 minutes?
- End of 1st Half
And that's it for the first half. Belgium have been below par and find themselves level with little Panama at the break.
It's been a disappointing showing from Martinez's side thus far. They have lacked any real urgency, there is no real tempo in their attacking play, no rhythm; but credit to Panama who have defended remarkably well.
- Yellow cardÉdgar Yoel BárcenasPanama
Barcenas goes into the book for a deliberate foul on Witsel.
Hazards finds Mertens on the overlap... he has plenty of team mates queing up in the middle but Torres makes the intervention. Belgium's final ball has been lacking in the first-half.
Meanwhile the fourth official announces there will be two minutes added on.
Another shot sails well over the bar, this time from Panama's Cooper.
De Bruyne's cross finds Mertens on the edge of the penalty box and he can't resist a first-time shot but his volley bends just wide of Panama's goal.
A through-pass has Lukaku racing but he is beaten to the ball by the onrushing Penedo.
Torres (who else?) rises highest to head clear Mertens' corner, as Belgium's frustrations grow.
That's more like it from Hazard! The Chelsea forward finds space from the left side of the penalty box and he accepts the invitation to shoot, forcing Penedo into a fine save at his near post.
Lukaku cuts a frustrated figure - and any wonder.
A devilish first-time ball from Mertens looks destined to be finished by Lukaku at the back post... but the referee blows for a foul - he had his arms all over Torres.
Nothing to get excited about here, as Belgium clear the corner delivery comfortably.
We are still waiting for this game to come to life...
Panama win their first corner of the game! Barcenas gets to the by-line where he sees his cross blocked by De Bruyne.
It's a better delivery from Mertens but Panama have been very well organised in defence and it's their player who reacts quickest to head it clear.
Lukaku has had just five touches of the ball thus far. Belgium have controlled possession but not in the right areas. Service needs to be better.
Cooper eventually leaves the field and now Belgium take their corner, which they again take short. De Bruyne eventually crosses but Panama head clear.
De Bruyne's free-kick delivery strikes the two-man wall and Belgium have a corner. Cooper is down, the ball appeared to smash into his face and he requires some treatment.
Murillo simply can't cope with Hazard and he resorts to fouling the Chelsea playmaker, conceding a free-kick on the left channel.
Belgium win a corner, which De Bruyne takes. It's deep, too deep and Panama clear. The replays show a defender had his arms all over Lukaku as the delivery was made.
Hazard is dispossessed in midfield and suddenly Panama break forward to form a rare attack! Barcanes swings the ball in but he can only find Witsel who clears.
Belgium play the short corner - again. Hazard tees up De Bruyne who lets fly from 25 yards but his shot is always rising and the ball ends up in the stands.
Torres makes a crucial intervention to divert De Bruyne's cross behind for a corner, with Lukaku waiting to pounce at the back post!
- Yellow cardErick DavisPanama
Consistent refereeing from the referee as he books Davis for a foul on Dries Mertens.
De Bruyne has looked rather uncomfortable in Belgium's midfield; he gives possession away cheaply once more. "He's having one", says the BBC's Mark Lawrenson.
Barcenas drives Panama forward but is stopped in his tracks by Vertonghen who looks as solid and reliable as ever in Belgium's defence.
Looking at the replay, it is clear Meunier only had his eyes on the ball. The yellow card means the Belgium midfielder has to tread carefully for the remaining 75 minutes.
- Yellow cardThomas MeunierBelgium
Meunier goes into the book for touching Rodriguez's chest mid-air while challenging for a high ball. It's very harsh.
Torres' back-pass is short as Hazard nips in to steal the ball, but with just the goalkeeper to beat he fails to find the target from an acute angle.
Hazard had more time than he thought and the Chelsea forward will be disappointed when he looks back at the replay.
The front line of Hazard, Mertens and Lukaku looks dangerous on paper and they're playing well on grass, too. Their pace and movement has already caused problems for the Panama defence.
Belgium work the corner short, with Mertens receiving the ball inside the Panama box. He goes to ground under the challenge of Perez but the referee is well positioned and says no penalty!
Penedo called into action once more, tipping Mertens' shot from distance over the bar for a corner.
Belgium in complete control in the opening stages and now they register their first shot of the evening. Carrasco doesn't really catch his effort as sweet as he would have liked though and Penedo makes a comfortable save.
Nice build-up play from Belgium as they work the ball into Vertonghen in a wide position. His cross is too deep for any of his team mates and then Munier commits a foul in a bid to recover possession.
Davis delivers but his cross doesn't cause too many problems for Belgium as Courtois collects.
Now then, an opportunity for Panama as they win a free-kick on the right flank. This is a decent chance to test the Belgian rearguard...
De Bruyne is already pulling the strings for Belgium as he releases Carrasco on the left flank. He pulls it back for Lukaku who screws his first-time effort well wide of the goal. The Man United forward wants a corner but the referee didn't spot any contact from a Panama defender, goal-kick.
- 1st Half
The debutants Panama get us underway at Fisht Stadium.
There are some empty seats for this one but the supporters in attendance are making a great noise.
It is time for the national anthems!
What a special occasion for debutants Panama - a really exciting time; and for Belgium it's their time to shine.
Roberto Martinez has been playing down his side's chances of winning the World Cup...
“World Cups don’t respect any generations,” said the Belgium manager. “What they respect is what you do in those three games that we’ve earned the right to have, and then the right to grow in the tournament and see how far we can go.”
Remember when Gary Lineker said he would strip to his underwear if Leicester won the Premier League? Well, he has gone even further this time: saying he would strip NAKED if Panama win the World Cup.
I don't think you have anything to worry about...
- This will be the first ever encounter between Belgium and Panama.
- This will be Panama boss Hernan Dario Gomez's third World Cup with a third different team. He took charge of his home nation Colombia in 1998 and Ecuador in 2002, both times getting knocked out in the group stages.
- Romelu Lukaku scored 11 goals in eight games during the World Cup qualifiers, only Robert Lewandowski (16) and Cristiano Ronaldo (15) were more prolific among European sides.
Here's what Torres had to say on his team making it to the finals in Russia...
"Getting to the World Cup wasn't easy.
"Now we are there and the truth is that to win a game or to advance to the next round, we'll need to work twice or three times as hard as what we have been doing so far to achieve that objective. That's the mentality that we have."
Making their World Cup debut are Panama who are determined not to be the 'whipping boys' of Russia.
They lost to Denmark, Switzerland and Norway in their warm-up matches, but will they step their game up on the greater stage?
Known as the 'golden generation' for Belgium, Roberto Martinez is under pressure to go all of the way with this talented group.
They flattered to deceive at the European Championships - losing out to Wales in the quarter-finals - and the players are determined to prove their quality in Russia.
"I think we know how strong we are and I hope we can show it in this tournament," said Napoli forward Dries Mertens.
Panama have no real standout players in their side, but a number of their men play in the MLS.
Defender Roman Torres, of Seattle Sounders has recently recovered from a hamstring problem and will have to be fully fit to stop the likes of Lukaku, Hazard and de Bruyne.
They start with one man in attack: Blas Perez, 37, who has played for 19 clubs in his career.
PANAMA TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Penedo, Murillo, Escobar, R Torres, Davis, Gomez, Godoy, Cooper, J Rodriguez, Barcenas, Perez.
Subs: Claderon, A Rodriguez, Cummings, G Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy.
Belgium have named an extremely attacking line-up for their Group G opener against Panama on Tuesday. As expected, manager Roberto Martinez starts with a back three and attacking wing-backs, with Kevin de Bruyne in a central midfield two. That attacking selection frees up Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard to all start in a front three full of firepower.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE minute-by-minute commentary of Belgium’s match against Panama.