Three Thoughts on Belgium’s Big Win Over Panama


One of the dark horse favorites to win it all got their World Cup off on the right foot, pouring it on in the second half to overwhelm Panama to the tune of a 3-0 victory in the debut game for Los Canaleros. Three thoughts on what was an entertaining game from Sochi.

This went as expected, except when it didn’t – Panama was never going to win this game, The Red Devils were too strong, too fast, and just out and out better than Panama. While the 3-0 result was what a lot of people expected, the way we got there didn’t quite play out the way Belgium wanted. The Red Devils came out in a flurry and it seemed like an early goal was imminent, but Panama’s backline held it together with a few brilliant saves from Jaime Penedo. Heading into the halftime break 0-0 had to feel like a small victory for Panama, but when Dries Mertens finally broke the deadlock shortly after the restart, it was only a matter of time before a second, and then a third followed.

Lukaku is a Beast – There are few players in the World that have the same blend of speed and power as Romel Lukaku, and he demonstrated that perfectly with his second half brace. First in the 69th minute, he sealed off Panama’s Erick Davis to win a header in the box, which he put past a helpless Penedo to put Belgium ahead 2-0. Six minutes later, Lukaku sealed the win for The Red Devils when he simply outran Roman Torres on a ball over the top before a clinical finish to put the game completely out of reach. If Belgium is going to make a deep run as most expect, they’ll need more of that from their big man.

Group G could be Game Over – When Harry Kane rescued England deep in their match against Tunisia, the dust settled with the two overwhelming favorites sitting pretty with 3 points atop the group. With a three goal differential, Sunday’s showdown with England becomes must win for Panama. We’ve seen England do it before (*cue Ian Darke screaming ICELAND……ICELAND!*), but this young English squad feels different than previous incarnations of the Three Lions. Meanwhile, Belgium looks poised for a very deep run and a win over Tunisia would ensure place in the Knockout Stages ahead of their final match against England.


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