Belgium are among the favourites to lift the trophy in Russian Federation and looked the part against the debutant Central Americans, but coach Roberto Martinez cautioned that the result didn't change the Red Devils' outlook. "You know when you begin at a World Cup after a long preparation and then it's finally that first game coming - everyone expects a lot". We needed to open the game more, but we defended really well.
Belgium were probing from all angles and were once again denied by the side-netting after a short corner played in Mertens, who took aim only to hit the outside of the net on 18 minutes. His players bring solid global experience as well, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and UEFA EURO 2016 under their belts, and they now hope to reach a whole new level in Russian Federation.
Belgium were expected to put daylight between themselves and the Central Americans, who are contesting their maiden World Cup finals. However, the latest on him is that he could yet start Panama's first game. Their first ever World Cup opponents possess a number of gifted attacking players, but Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) will be determined to show their best by building on their defensive rigour and tactical discipline while looking to get forward on the break.
Belgium and Panama will meet for the for the first time in their history.
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But Merkel says that would leave countries at the EU's southern periphery alone to deal with the migrant influx. But "we want finally to have a sustainable solution for turning back refugees at our borders".
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Before the game, South Korea's coach Tae Yong-shin called it a "must win" game but the defeat leaves his side contemplating only an early exit.
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She also echoed an argument made by President Donald Trump that it's in the hands of Congress to make the change. And President Trump's claim that Democrats need to change the relevant law is no better.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last nine World Cup group games (W4, D5), winning each of their last four.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Belgium vs Panama match will be played at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia.
Panama, meanwhile, acknowledged that the difference in class had told.
Belgium have had plenty of time to prove their actual quality on the pitch, with the footballing world now demanding a complete performance from them at the World Cup.
On paper this game should be a canter for Belgium. On the other hand, Panama would be circumspect of this talented Belgium squad and would be flurried to keep things compact at the back especially after their neighbours Los Ticos lost 4-1 to the same Belgian squad just a week ago.
Matters depreciated for them as Lukaku delicately chipped an advancing Penedo following a swift counterattack instigated by Hazard to round off an opening day win in Group G.