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FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

Tunisia Walloped by High Flying Belgium

Tunisia suffered a humiliating 5-2 defeat to Belgium in their second 2018 World Cup Group G encounter on Saturday at Volgograd Arena in Russia.

Tunisia suffered a humiliating 5-2 defeat to Belgium in their second 2018 World Cup Group G encounter on Saturday at Volgograd Arena in Russia.

The Carthage Eagles were second best throughout the match which ended with their European opponents booking a place in the Round of 16.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard scored two goals each with second half substitute Michy Batshuayi making it a rout. Tunisia netted their goals through Dylan Bronn and Wakhbi Khazri who got his team’s second with almost the last kick of the match.

The Red Devils took the lead in the 6th minute from Eden Hazard’s penalty after he was tripped at the edge of the box to put them on course for back-to-back victories.

Twelve minutes later they doubled their lead after their opponents lost the ball in the middle of the pitch. Dries Mertens powered forward and played in Romelu Lukaku who provided a classy finish.

The Carthage Eagles put themselves back in the swing of things courtesy of Dylan Brodman, who headed home from a free-kick with their first shot on goal.

The blistering pace, contrasting styles of Carthage Eagles’ tiki-taka pitched against a direct Red Devils, and mind-blowing rate of chances created by the North Africans as they searched for an equalizer.

But they dealt with a blow after their dependable defender Syan Ben Youssef got injured in the 41st minute with his place taken by Yohan Belalouane.

This rejuvenated, the far more competitive Belgians who struck again in injury time at the end of the first half from Lukaku who chipped in a delicate shot past Farouk Ben Mustapha to make it 3-1 at the interval.

Both teams tightened up defensively in the second half, so both had to work harder to pry openings, such as when Ssassi fed Khazri to hit the side-netting.

However, the Carthage Eagles were still making errors at the back as Hazard picked up a loose ball to beat Ben Mustapha from close range to make it 4-1 to Belgium with the attacker grabbing his brace in the process.

The Red Devils then defended too deep as they looked to launch counter attacks, but the Carthage Eagles nearly scored through Khazri, whose effort narrowly missed the target.

Belgium manager Robert Martinez made two changes sending both Lukaku and Hazard off, though there was let off in attacking intensity from the Red Devils but Michy Batshuayi tormented the Tunisia defenders and missed a clear chance with 14 minutes to full-time.

Batshuayi wasn’t to be denied in the end, though, as he made sure he got his name on the score-sheet with a sliding finish a minute to added time.

Wahbi Khazri found a second consolation for the Carthage Eagles after steering home a cross-field pass a minute from time.

Tunisia face Panama in Saransk in their final group match on Thursday while Belgium and England clash in Kaliningrad the same day.

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco, Merterns, Hazard, Lukaku.

Tunisia: Ben Mustapha – Bronn, S. Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul – Skhiri, Sassi, Khaoui – Badri, F. Ben Youssef, Khazri.


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