Romelu Lukaku's pace in the run-up to his second goal vs Panama was very impressive

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Group G got off to rather an interesting start on Monday.

Harry Kane sent England fans into ecstasy with his last-minute winner against Tunisia, while earlier in the day Belgium had beaten Panama 3-0.

That scoreline reflected the superiority of Roberto Martinez's side, though in truth they were disappointingly flat in the first half and lacked any real spark.

Dries Mertens' stunning volley finally sprung the Red Devils into action, with Romelu Lukaku then scoring a six-minute brace.

The Manchester United striker netted two goals over the whole course of the World Cup in 2014, so he has already matched that tally this time around.

For the first, the 25-year-old profited from Kevin de Bruyne's brilliantly-worked assist. The Manchester City playmaker cut inside and scooped in a pinpoint cross onto Lukaku's head.

The second was even more encouraging from a Belgian point of view. Under Martinez, they have sometimes struggled to connect their defence and attack and don't always create enough movement off the ball, which perhaps explains why they were so pedestrian at times against the Central Americans.

Lukaku's insane speed 

Yet, Lukaku's second all started from a move right on the edge of their own box and the former Everton man used a fantastic burst of pace to get himself in position:

Lukaku is so often thought of as a primarily physical forward and it's easy to overlook this side of his game.

It was a fine run by Eden Hazard too that set him up.

In spite of Lukaku's exploits, he still came in for criticism from Shaka Hislop, the former goalkeeper slating his finishing on ESPN FC's podcast, per the Star.

Hislop wasn't satisfied 

“My criticism of Romelu Lukaku is I don’t think he is a very clean finisher, which I think you need at the top-end of the game," he said.

“Belgium come into this tournament ranked number three in the world, you expect them to go deep against a Spain and a Germany where you may only get one or two chances."


It's an age-old accusation that Lukaku gets all his goals against so-called lesser sides and one he'll be familiar with, so we'll just have to wait and see how he fares against some of the world's elite if his nation progresses.

This Belgian squad is frankly oozing with world-class players and the pressure is on Martinez to get the best out of their 'Golden Generation'.

It has to be said that despite a much-improved second-half performance, questions are still going to be asked of them after the Panama game, but a decent result was ultimately all that mattered.

Do you think Belgium can win the World Cup? Have your say in the comments. 

Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium Football
Eden Hazard
World Cup
Romelu Lukaku

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