Croatia vs Belgium
A montage of some of the World Cup’s most incredible moments, with a rendition of John Newman’s ‘Love Me Again’ in the background, is played on big screens before kick-off across Qatar. It shows Croatia’s ageless maestro Luka Modric celebrating one of his goals that took his team to the final of the last edition of the World Cup in Russia four years ago.
Down on the pitch at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, here was 37-year-old Modric, looking to inspire perhaps a similar run in his final dance. Against Modric, his ability, agility, and relentless running belied his age, and Croatia was the Belgian’s golden generation, who have also aged. This is the last chance for them to show their potential and win the trophy.
The final set of Group F games came with considerable implications for Belgium.
Lose here and they’re out. Even a draw will not be enough. And certainly not, after Morocco took an early lead against Canada in the second group game being played at Al Thamama Stadium. A draw was enough for Croatia to make it to the last 16 but they were going for the top spot.
Croatia came firing out of the blocks, with Ivan Perisic firing almost wide from the kick-off. It created an interesting contest between midfield dictators Modric and Kevin De Bruyne. The influential Belgian playmaker showed his class with a surging run to free Dries Mertens but his shot went wide.
But Croatia had their chance in the 15th minute, Yannick Carrasco adjudged to foul Andrej Kramarek following a Modric free-kick. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Modric was furious with his Real Madrid team-mate Thibaut Courtois – both key players in the team that won the Champions League just five months earlier. “Luka, Luka,” chanted the Croatian fans. VAR saw otherwise though and the penalty call was overturned after an offside in the build-up by Dejan Lovren. It was modest but Belgium could breathe.
Who won Belgium vs Croatia?
World Cup 2022 – Croatia 0-0 Belgium: Romelu Lukaku misses big chances as Roberto Martinez’s ‘Golden Generation’ knock out Croatia to reach last 16
Goalless at half-time, Belgium failed to find chances, with Roberto Martinez replacing Romelu Lukaku in the second half but it was Croatia who almost scored. Courtois parries away a great drive from Mateo Kovacic. And then a few minutes later, he deflected Marcelo Brozovic’s low shot.
Croatia was asking questions of Belgium, forcing the issue. But then nothing, Belgium had a great chance on the hour mark. De Bruyne found the pocket of space from which he is so devastating and released Carrasco on the left side of the box.
Carrasco was denied by a swarm of Croatian defenders but the ball fell to Lukaku, whose shot hit the post. The game was really opening up and at the other end, Modric showed great chest control to bring down a cross from the left but his volley lacked power and went comfortably past Courtois.
Less than 20 minutes later, in the final throw of the dice, Martinez threw over Jeremy Duco and Uri Tilleymans. But still, Belgium found it difficult to open. With five minutes remaining, Lukaku deflected a shot from Thomas Meunier, who had been replaced by Eden Hazard. Hazard’s brother Thorgan then sent in a cross which Lukaku touched on only for Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Levakovic to head inches wide of the goal line.
Belgium was pushing everything forward and Lukaku was denied by a last-ditch tackle pulled by Josko Guardiola. They could not engineer the goal that would lead them. Lukaku had his head in his hands. His fans were in tears. De Bruyne just looked off into the distance.
Should Belgium win against Croatia?
Morocco’s early goal against Canada sent the Atlas Lions top of Group F, with Croatia dropping to second. As it stands, Belgium must beat Croatia to avoid exiting the tournament.
For Belgium, the sad thing would be that for all their promise, for all their talent collectively, it never materialized for them. For Modric and Croatia, a possible last-16 tie against Spain indicates.
The 2022 World Cup is ramping up the fun as the knockouts draw closer. The goals remain great, the results are still highly unpredictable, and the matches are thrilling. With so much happening every day, ESPN India tries to pick one magical moment that defined the day’s action.
For Day 12, we pick the sheer skill and result: Josco Guardiola on Romelu Lukaku as Croatia battled to a late 0-0 draw against Belgium.
There was 91:32 on the clock when Belgium left-back Timothee Castagan cut in on his right foot and fired a delicious ball into the Croatian six-yard box. Score, 0-0. As the ball went in, the equation was simple: score, and Belgium went through. Concede and Croatia was out.
Castagna’s ball took a slight turn behind Thorgan Hazard and bounced off the leg of his marker Borna Sosa and bounced dangerously across the face of goal, keeper Dominik Levakovic rooting onto his line. The moment it hit Sosa’s leg, Romelu Lukaku came alive.
Who knocked Belgium out of the World Cup?
Belgium crashed out of the World Cup after a goalless draw with Croatia as head coach Roberto Martinez resigned.
Lukaku was sensational since coming on in the second half. After a sluggish first half, Belgium was on Croatia’s heels for most of the second 45 and was the catalyst for the turnaround. That was also the reason why it was still pointless.
On one occasion he was seen to bounce a cross off his knee and from five yards out. He watched another sensational ball bounce off his chest and land harmlessly in the hands of Levakovic from close range. He smashed a rebound off the post from just outside the six-yard box.
That’s when the ball bounced back to him, in the middle of the goal, four yards out, with the net invitingly empty in front of him. With barely a few minutes to go, he knew it was going to happen. It was going in. He had to do it.
Lukaku twisted, stretched, and swung his left leg at the same time, almost assured of a clean connection. Just as he was about to make contact, however, a lime green toe knocked the ball away. just in time.
Has Belgium been eliminated?
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has confirmed he will step down on Thursday following his side’s early exit from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Belgium crashed out of the group stage after a 0-0 draw with Croatia, finishing third behind Croatia and group winners Morocco.
As Lukaku came back up and braced himself for a cross that never came, his face said it all: “How?”
That lime-green boot belonged to 20-year-old Josco Guardiola, and the incredible challenge kept Croatia at the World Cup. And kicked Belgium out of it.
Watch it again and you can see what a difficult skill it was that Guardiol pulled off under extreme pressure. All half-length Lukaku had his number with his off-the-ball movement. He may have missed those chances, but he was getting into those positions again and again and Guardiol and his defensive partners could do little to stop him.
He really shouldn’t have stopped her here either. When the ball rebounds off Sosa’s leg, Lukaku’s reaction is just that quick — the move of an elite striker. When the ball crosses his path, Lukaku is in front of Guardiola.
The only way to get close to the striker was to drop to the ground and extend his leg at an impossible angle, all in one smooth motion. His timing was wrong and he missed the ball or the player was caught: both could have ended Croatia’s tournament.
Who is Belgium’s best ally?
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Belgium is a strong supporter of NATO. It cooperates closely with the United States within the framework of the alliance, in addition to supporting European defense efforts through the Western European Union (WEU).
The great Paolo Maldini once said, “If I have to make a tackle, I’ve already made a mistake.” But he himself was a master tackler. That’s because he knew that sometimes, that’s all a defender can do. Sometimes, a forward is too smart, too fast, too strong, and in the right place at the right time.
On the night, in the 92nd minute of this draining virtual knockout match on the biggest stage of them all, Lukaku did it all. Guardiol had done no wrong, but all he could do was throw himself into this final challenge. And boy did he do it: pull off the tackle of the tournament, a moment that could go on to define this World Cup.
How it went wrong for Belgium…
Belgium’s starting line-up was the oldest ever at a World Cup – averaging 31 years and 95 days – and they were out of the blocks, with Ivan Perisic running down the left and shooting wide with just 10 seconds on the clock…
Hakeem Zech’s opener for Morocco against Canada boosted Belgium’s need for a win but, apart from a shot from Yannick Carrasco and a shot from Dries Mertens, there was little pressure from the Red Devils in the first half. The wave did not occur.
Instead, he was fortunate to escape a penalty award, with VAR eventually advising referee Anthony Taylor to check the extremely harsh offside call on the pitchside monitor after Carrasco had caught Andrej Kramaric. Dejan Lovren’s shirt sleeve was millimeters ahead of Jan Vertonghen’s.
Is Croatia advancing to the World Cup?
AL RAYAN, Qatar — Croatia advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup on Thursday after a 0-0 draw against Belgium, whose group-stage exit was a testament to its generation of talented but underachieving players. There is a possibility of breakage.
In need of a game-changer, Martinez sent on Lukaku, who had scored 28 goals in his last 28 appearances for his country. Not fit enough to start because of the hamstring problem that sidelined him since October before this World Cup, Lukaku was Martinez’s big hope.
But instead of being a match-winner, the striker would endure a performance that would be long remembered for the wrong reasons.
He showed his threat almost immediately, recording the first shot on target of the match with a header, setting up De Bruyne to fire wide. But after a fine spell for Croatia, in which Courtois, on his 100th appearance, tipped in a quick drive from Mateo Kovacic and got down to block efforts from Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric, the chances came and Then went for Lukaku.
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