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FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama, Highlights: As it Happened | June 18, 2018, 10:51 PM IST
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18 Jun 2018 - 20:30 IST - Fisht Stadium

Group Stage - Group G

3 - 0
Latest update: Belgium scored three goals in the second half of the game to beat Panama 3-0 in their first game at the World Cup

Catch all the live updates from the Group G game between Belgium and Panama from the 2018 FIFA World Cup on News18Sports' Live Blog
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Jun 18, 2018 10:25 pm (IST)

Full time: Belgium 3 - Panama 0 

Jun 18, 2018 10:24 pm (IST)

Almost drops for Diaz perfectly for him to get a shot away at Courtois' goal in the final minute, but he can't sort out his feet and the chance is lost. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:20 pm (IST)

Ismael Diaz has become the only Panamanian to play in three different FIFA World Cup categories: U-17 in United Arab Emirates (2013), U-20 in New Zealand (2015) and now at senior level in Russia.

Jun 18, 2018 10:19 pm (IST)

Meanwhile, Kevin de Bruyne has picked up a yellow card and he isn't happy. Escobar took the resulting free-kick and tried a low shot at Courtois' goal, but the big keeper got down well to collect it. Good attempt by Escobar though. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:15 pm (IST)

The Panama shoulders have dropped considerably in the second half after the two goals by Lukaku which were a killer blow. They almost created another chance, but Diaz was caught off-side and Courtois would have been happy about that as there were two attackers coming towards him there. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:11 pm (IST)

Less than ten minutes to go in the game and Belgium have another dead ball situation in a dangerous position. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:08 pm (IST)

Panama with another half chance after Eric Davis' cross almost finds Tejada. But Courtois' cleansheet for now is safe. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:05 pm (IST)

GOAL: Romelu Lukaku doubles his tally after Hazard puts him through and he dinks it over the onrushing Penedo. Belgium lead 3-0

Jun 18, 2018 10:04 pm (IST)

Panama not giving up though as Cooper chases down Courtois and puts the pressure on him. Gets a deflection on the keeper's shot but that does not cause trouble. 

Jun 18, 2018 10:01 pm (IST)

That goal has probably killed the contest for Belgium and Panama will find it extremely hard to mount any comeback of sorts in this fixture. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:58 pm (IST)

GOAL: Belgium double their tally as a Kevin de Bruyne pass from the outside of his right foot finds Romelu Lukaku who heads home powerfully! 

Jun 18, 2018 9:57 pm (IST)
Jun 18, 2018 9:56 pm (IST)

To be fair, Panama have defended well all through the game, even if they have not been the best technically they have made those blocks and tackles while the Belgians have also tended to go easy on them. Panama now need to transport the same to their attacking half as Belgium will give then spaces to exploit. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:53 pm (IST)

Panama bring in some fresh legs for the final half an hour or so of this tie. They have responded well against pressure so far but they need to be more clinical and aware in attack for it to produce something. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:51 pm (IST)

The match has crossed the hour mark and while Panama are putting in a lot of effort, Belgium are indulging in a bit of show boating and there is a lack of intensity creeping into their game once again. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:49 pm (IST)

Vertonghen is the latest to get a yellow card and that's the seventh in the game with five going Panama's way. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:48 pm (IST)

Barcenas this time gets on the ball from Cooper, but his shot his hurried and Courtois watches it go outside. Panama now showing more enterprise in attack. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:46 pm (IST)

Panama not holding back here and rightfully so. They have nothing to lose and an equaliser could change the game's tide in their favour. Jan Vertonghen in the Belgium defense is not happy that Panama are making inroads into his area. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:44 pm (IST)

Great chance to equalise for Panana as Murillo is free in space in the box. But Courtois saw that coming and thwarted it instantly. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:41 pm (IST)

Five minutes into the first half and the complexion of the game has changed. Kevin de Bruyne now stands over a free-kick and goes for the top corner but it's just off target. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:37 pm (IST)

GOAL: What a Strike!! Dries Mertens has put Belgium in front with a great great volley past Penedo. There was nothing the keeper could do about that!

Jun 18, 2018 9:35 pm (IST)

The second half has kicked off in Sochi and it will be interesting to see how both sides approach this.

Jun 18, 2018 9:32 pm (IST)

Belgium have wasted chances to convert and are sticking to tradition of being slow starters at the World Cup. Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry will have to give the attacking players a talking to as the Panama side will grow in confidence and belief with every passing minute. They have already frustrated their fancied opponents and are half way there to getting a positive result on debut. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:20 pm (IST)

Half-time: Belgium and Panama play out a goalless first half. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:18 pm (IST)

Lukaku has come down to help with defensive duties as the first half nears the end. Panama have held on with some resolute and gritty defending even if it is not beautiful football. The have been crowding the Belgian forwards everytime they get near the box and that has worked so far. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:15 pm (IST)

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has been asking his defenders, especially Boyata, asking them to stay calm and avoid leaving spaces in behind as Belgium push forward. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:13 pm (IST)

Once again, Perez, Rodriguez and Cooper exchange a few quick passes before Cooper shoots from distance. Well over Courtois' goal though. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:12 pm (IST)

Panama are yet to have a shot on target in the first 40 minutes at the World Cup, but they have defended with bodies and with great heart against the Belgians so far as their vocal fans keep cheering them on. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:09 pm (IST)

Eden Hazard with a traditional burst of pace while coming in the right, shoots but Penedo has the first post covered and concedes a corner. At the other end meanwhile, Davis and Rodriguez combine before the latter's cross earns Panama another corner. 

Jun 18, 2018 9:07 pm (IST)

Some good movement by Panama. Escobar started it off from defense. Perez then with Rodriguez combined to earn their first corner at a World Cup. Nothing came of it other than Belgian defenders wondering how they made it so far forward. 

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FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium vs Panama, Highlights: As it Happened
(Image: FIFA)

Preview: Hernan Dario Gomez leads minnows Panama into their World Cup debut on Monday mindful that Iceland's efforts in holding Argentina have shown that "anything can happen". Panama caused a sensation by qualifying for Russia from the CONCACAF zone at the expense of the United States, but they have been handed just about the toughest start imaginable -- a star-studded Belgium await in Sochi on Monday evening.
"We are not favourites but if we have a good day anything can happen," said Gomez, Panama's veteran Colombian coach who is usually known by his nickname 'Bolillo'. While Panama's squad contains no real household names, and half a dozen players well into their 30s, Roberto Martinez's Belgians have come to this World Cup with a golden generation led by the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. "The squad is prepared to come up against a team of many carats, and a great coach who is also a great person," said Gomez. "They have the best players in the world, except for Messi and Cristiano. Belgium are candidates to win the title, and we are proud to be facing them." Iceland followed their run to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 by holding Argentina to a 1-1 draw in Moscow on Saturday, although they were helped by Lionel Messi's second-half penalty miss. Gomez is hoping his side can take inspiration from that performance to claim their first World Cup point in Group G, even if he did not want to compare his group of journeymen with a more experienced Icelandic outfit. "Iceland qualified ahead of Croatia and did well in the Euros as well, and they were coming up against an Argentina side who are not on the same level as Belgium just now. "There is a bigger gulf between Belgium and Panama. Nobody denies they are the favourites, but if we have a good day we can get something." Gomez, a former Colombia and Ecuador coach, called on his side to have "warm bodies and cool heads" for their bow on Russia's Black Sea coast. The heat and humidity here in southern Russia could help them against Belgium, but their recent record is a source of concern, particularly in front of goal. The Panamanians scored just nine in 10 qualifiers, and they arrived in Russia after scoring just one goal in their last five matches. That included a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland and a 1-0 reverse in Norway 10 days ago. It is a worrying outlook, especially with England to follow next weekend. "Panama are not a team who score a lot of goals. We are working hard as a team, but we come into the World Cup with problems putting the ball in the net."

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