Belgium coasted through to the Round of 16 in superb fashion beating Tunisia 5-2 in a thriller of a game. Braces from Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard and a goal from Michy Batshuyai sealed the deal for the Belgians. Dylan Brown scored a header for Tunisia and captain Wahbi Khazri grabbed an injury time constellation goal.
The first goal came when Syam Ben Youssef tripped Eden Hazard in the box leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Eden Hazard stepped up and neatly slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner. Hazard was very composed and left goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha with no chance.
Belgium were now on the front foot, pressing well and forcing Tunisia into making mistakes. They got a second when Dries Mertens played to though ball to Romelu Lukaku which cut the Tunisian defence open. Lukaku collected the ball, took a few touches and drove it into the bottom right, spectacular finish from the Manchester United man.
Tunisia bounced straight back and put the ball in Belgiums goal when a superb free kick from Khazri met the head of Dylan Bronn who headed into the back of the net. Instant reply from the Tunisians. The Belgian defence certainly switched off for that goal.
At this point the Tunisians were making several mistakes and gifting Belgium chances but the Belgians were not exploiting them and putting them away. Tunisia were forced to make first half substitutions for the injured Dylan Brown and Syam Ben Youssef who were stretchered off. They were replaced with Hamdi Nigguez and Yohan Benalouane. The defence was having a howler.
Belgium made it 3-1 in added time when Thomas Meunier played Romelu Lukaku 1 on 1 with the keeper and then he produced a excellent lob over the goalkeeper. Belgium went into the break on high sprits.
Tunisia made a purposeful start to the second half, creating lots of chances but couldn’t execute them.
De Bruyne sprayed a brilliant ball over the top in the path of Eden Hazard who calmly took it around the keeper and tapped it in making it 4-1. It was a tidy finish from the Chelsea player.
The tempo was starting to slow down with Belgium starting to calm down on the ball.
Michy Batshuyai came on for Romelu Lukaku with a half an hour to go. Batshuyai came on and was gifted a handful of chances but only finished one. A great ball by substitute Youri Tielemans fell to the feet of him and he tapped it away into the bottom right. A deserved goal for Batshuyai, he easily could have had a hat trick.
Wahbi Khazri grabbed a constellation goal when he tapped it in from close range but that was too little too late for Tunisia as the full time whistle sounded moments later with Belgium running away with a deserved 5-2 victory.
Belgium lined up in their usual 3-4-2-1 formation where as Tunisia played a 4-3-3 formation.
Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel were the main playmakers for Belgium. Their wing backs were overlapping forward and attending to their defensive duties also. They shaped out narrowly when Tunisia were in possession of the ball. Kevin De Bruyne kept getting attracted to the ball when Tunisia had further up the pitch, leaving the midfield exposed. This is a bad thing for Belgium as the better teams will take note and exploit this. The Belgians squeezed and squeezed until a Tunisia error which then they regained possession of the ball and started their quick passing again.
Tunisia relied on captain Wahbi Khazri who done all the hard work for them. Meanwhile the defence had a howler. They made mistakes left right and centre and Belgium could doubled their goals. Khazri was rewarded with a goal in the dying embers of the game.
My Man of The Match: Eden Hazard
Hazard was the main rock in the Belgium team today. He scored two goals and created chance after chance. He is a very intriguing player to watch and stood out a mile today.
Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 21 matches.
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