World Cup: Belgium 5 Tunisia 2 - 5 things you need to know

Belgium's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their fifth goal during their match against Tunisia, on June 23, 2018.
Belgium's Michy Batshuayi celebrates scoring their fifth goal during their match against Tunisia, on June 23, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Belgium are through to the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup after a 5-2 win over Tunisia. The European side simply had too much creativity and finishing power for the African side, who gamely fought till the final whistle. The Belgians have now seized pole position in Group G and this big win has done their goal difference a power of good.

1. The goals

Belgium (Eden Hazard 6th min pen, 51st, Romelu Lukaku 16th, 45th, Michy Batshuayi 90th), Tunisia (Dylan Bronn 18th, Wahbi Khazri 90th)

2. The wow moment

Hazard's second goal will be replayed on YouTube and on DVD over and over again. The Chelsea forward showed why he deserves to be included in the world-class bracket with a soft touch to cushion Toby Alderweireld's long ball in the 51st minute, juggled past advancing goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha with his next touch and tapping into an empty net while shrugging off two defenders with his third.

3. The talking point

There is no doubt that Tunisian defender Syam Ben Youssef's fifth minute hacked Hazard in the fifth minute but the foul was committed on the line of the penalty box. VAR had a look at the incident and the penalty decision stood and Hazard went on to open the scoring.

4. The star


Romelu Lukaku arguably was the headline act with his ruthless finishing. PHOTO: AFP

While Hazard entertained with his box of tricks and surging runs, Lukaku arguably was the headline act with his ruthless finishing. Four shots at this World Cup has yielded a 100 per cent return of four goals. That makes him, alongside Jan Ceulemans, Belgium's highest scorer at major competitions (World Cup and European Championship) with six strikes. He hobbled off after 59 minutes and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez will be praying nothing serious had happened to his top marksman.

5. What the result means


Belgium are assured of a place in the last 16 after two straight wins. PHOTO: REUTERS

 

Belgium are assured of a place in the last 16 after two straight wins. While slow to start against Panama, Martinez's men gave a performance brimming with flair, pace and physical power to demonstrate what Belgium's golden generation is capable of on their day. The trick now is to sustain this type of white-hot form. For Tunisia, they deserve applause for showing character in the face of the overwhelming firepower. But their World Cup journey ends here after two consecutive losses. They play Panama on June 28 in a final attempt to salvage some pride.