World Cup: Lukaku scores twice as Belgium beat debutants Panama

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World Cup: Lukaku scores twice as Belgium beat debutants Panama
Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). He now has 38 goals in 70 games for Belgium and is his country's record goalscorer
Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium’s last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). He now has 38 goals in 70 games for Belgium and is his country’s record goalscorer

(BBC) – Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium proved too good for World Cup debutants Panama in the opening match in England’s Group G.

After a goalless first half, Belgium, ranked third in the world, finally broke Panama’s resistance when Dries Mertens steered in a spectacular volley.

Panama, 55th in the rankings, had a chance to snatch an equaliser but Thibaut Courtois was quick off his line to save Michael Murillo’s shot with his legs.

Manchester United striker Lukaku made certain of the victory as he scored with a diving header after an exquisite pass from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne with the outside of his boot.

Lukaku then added a third with a chipped finish after a fine through ball from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

Belgium take on Tunisia in their second match on Saturday, 23 June (13:00 BST), before Panama are England’s second opponents a day later (13:00 BST).

Gareth Southgate’s side play their first game of the tournament later on Monday against Tunisia in Volgograd (19:00 BST).

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