Belgium 2 – 1 Tunisia 2018 World Cup Live

Opening thoughts

In its five World Cup showings, Tunisia has never made it out of the group stage, and a loss against Belgium would make it difficult for the Eagles of Carthage to advance for the first time. Tunisia will be without goalkeeper Mouez Hassen, who left the opener against England with a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Belgium could secure a spot in the knockout stage if it beats Tunisia and England defeats Panama. Even though Belgium won its opener, 3-0, the team was unable to score in the first half against a Panama team making its World Cup debut.

When: Saturday, June 23, 8 a.m. Eastern

Starting lineups announced

Belgium keeps the same lineup from its opener against Panama, while Tunisia makes two changes. Farouk Ben Mustapha, who played most of the game against England, will start in place of injured goalkeeper Mouez Hassen, and Saîf-Eddine Khaoui will take the spot of Naim Sliti.

Belgium, goal!

Six minutes into the game, Belgium’s Eden Hazard draws a foul just inside the penalty area, a call confirmed by VAR. On the penalty kick, Hazard sends the ball into the left of the net, while goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha stayed in the middle. Belgium is attacking early, and it has already paid off. The Red Devils hadn’t scored a goal in the first half of their last seven World Cup games.

Belgium pouring it on

Belgium continues to take shots, and Romelu Lukaku’s attempt in space sails past Farouk Ben Mustapha to make this a 2-0 early lead for Belgium in the 16th minute. That’s Lukaku’s third goal in Belgium’s first two matches of this World Cup. He was sprung free after a Tunisia turnover near midfield.

Belgium (1-0-0, 3 points) vs. Tunisia (0-0-1, 0 points)

Group G, Spartak Stadium, Moscow

Tunisia responds fast

After Belgium seemed poised to run away with the game, Tunisia’s Saif-Eddine Khaoui earns a free kick and Dylan Bronn heads the ball from the center of the box into the bottom right of the net. Wahbi Khazri picks up the assist off a wonderful service.

33 mins: Talking of Khazri…he's just hit a thunderbolt of a shot that almost caught out Courtois, but he eventually claims.
 
Meanwhile, Lukaku receives some treatment to his ankle off the pitch, and doesn't look 100% fit. One to keep an eye out for in the coming minutes, especially with England to play next.

KICK OFF: Belgium and Romelu Lukaku get us underway 

2 mins: A flying start from Belgium, as Eden Hazard is fouled, but Kevin De Bruyne can only deliver an awful free kick that dribbles to Farouk Ben Mustapha. Not one for the highlights reel for the Manchester City star

6 mins: PENALTY! Syam Ben Youssef concedes a penalty against Eden Hazard! Tunisia think the foul was outside the box but replays show the contact was inside and the penalty is given

7 mins: GOAL! Belgium 1-0 Tunisia (Eden Hazard penalty)

Tunisia's 'keeper Ben Mustapha doesn't move, and Hazard calmly slots home to give Belgium the lead. Fast start by Belgium, and more of the poor defending on show that we saw against England

12 mins: After a short injury stoppage in play, Belgium are back on the front foot, and look dangerous in almost every attack. Tunisia still trying to attach, but they're caught on the break, and Hazard fails to convert after a good cross from Lukaku

16 mins: GOAL! Belgium 2-0 Tunisia (Romelu Lukaku)

Brilliant finish from Lukaku through the defender's legs, and rifles his shot into the bottom corner. That's his third of the tournament so far. Watch out England.

18 mins: GOAL! Belgium 2-1 Tunisia (Dylan Bronn)

Great ball in from Khazri from a free kick, and Bronn glances a header past Thibaut Courtois. Tunisia back into it?

Crazy start to this one, three goals and we are only 20 minutes in!

There's been goals aplenty in this World Cup, we are now into the 27th game without a goalless draw. Penalties also a feature of this tournament after the introduction of VAR, Hazard's was the 13th so far.

That was my third attempt at writing those stats as both sides can't seem to stop scoring! 

22 mins: Goalscorer Bronn down for Tunisia, and it looks as though his game may be over, as his knee gave way whilst blocking a Carrasco shot.

Now we've had time to catch our breath, a bit more on the Tunisia goal. VAR had a look to see if there was an offside, but Bronn remained onside, an the technology did it's job once again.

SUB: Bronn replaced by Hamdi Naguez for Tunisia

36 mins: Tunisia have a habit of getting back into these games, however vulnerable they look in defence. Almost naively they continue piling forward and it's paid off again as they get a goal on the board.

Khazri now down receiving treatment, but back on his feet and will hope to continue. A real threat for Tunisia.

41 mins: It's another blow for Tunisia as they make their second enforced defensive change of the half due to injury.

Syam Ben Youssef OFF, Leicester's Yohan Benalouane replaces him

45 mins: Four minutes added time at the end of this first half, after plenty of injury stoppages and goal celebrations…the heat could play a part as the game nears it's conclusion this afternoon, very warm conditions, and especially tough for the Tunisian's who have had to chase the ball

49 mins: GOAL! Belgium 3-1 Tunisia (Romelu Lukaku)

Meunier puts an inch perfect pass into Lukaku, who dinks it over Ben Mustapha to get his fourth of the tournament. Perfect end to the half for Belgium

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