2018 WORLD CUP: BELGIUM 5-2 TUNISIA – AS IT HAPPENED

Welcome to as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup Group G match between Belgium and Tunisia from the Otkritie Arena in Moscow.

Line-ups

 

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Dedryck Boyata, Thomas Meunier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens.

Tunisia: Farouk Ben Mustapha, Ali Maaloul, Dylan Bronn, Syam Ben Youssef, Yassine Meriah, Ferjani Sassi, Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Ellyes Skhiri, Anice Badri, Wahbi Khazri, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef

Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT

90+4′ – Full time – Done and dusted, a convincing win for Belgium. Tunisia’s elimination from the tournament will be confirmed tomorrow if England avoid defeat against Panama.

90+3′ – GOAL! Belgium 5-2 Tunisia – Khazri has a consolation goal for Tunisia, turning home Nagguez’s cross from the right.

90+2′ – Batshuayi looking for another goal and sends a low shot just wide!

90′ – GOAL! Belgium 5-1 Tunisia – Finally Batshuayi gets his goal, turning home Carrasco’s cross from the right!

88′ – Benalouane with a vital interception as Belgium continue to search for a fifth goal.

86′ – Substitution – Mertens makes way for Youri Tielemans in Belgium’s final change.

84′ – Tunisia now look like a team just hoping to get to the final whistle without any further damage. They have been completely outclassed in this match.

81′ – Batshuayi shoots on target from De Bruyne’s cross, but it’s a great save from Mustapha!

79′ – Carrasco’s shot is spilled by the ‘keeper and Batshuayi belts the rebound onto the crossbar from close range! The substitute striker should have scored twice already!

76′ – Now Batshuayi rounds the ‘keeper and chips the ball toward goal, but Meriah clears off the line!

75′ – Mustapha quickly off his line to deny Batshuayi, though there was a hint of him perhaps handling the ball outside the box.

72′ – A clash of heads between Sliti and Vertonghen, with the Belgian defender looking a little worse for wear.

70′ – Khazri whips in another good free kick, Fellaini heads clear and Khaoui sends a shot way over the crossbar from the loose ball.

68′ – Substitution – Michy Batshuayi replaces Hazard for Belgium.

67′ – Badri with a lovely turn and shot from just outside the box, but Courtois makes a comfortable save.

64′ – Hazard shoots from long range but it’s high and wide.

61′ – Badri with a great chance to pull a goal back for Tunisia but he can’t get a clean connection! At the other end Carrasco looks to curl one into the top corner but sends it just wide!

60′ – Substitution – Naim Sliti replaces Sassi in Tunisia’s third and final change.

59′ – Substitution – Belgium’s first change sees Lukaku replaced by Marouane Fellaini.

57′ – If Belgium don’t take their foot off the pedal they could bring up a real big score here.

55′ – A little flare-up between Ben Youssef and Carrasco as Tunisia’s frustration begins to get the better of them.

52′ – That was way too easy for Belgium, once again Tunisia’s defence was AWOL. And there’s surely no way back now for the North Africans.

51′ – GOAL! Belgium 4-1 Tunisia – Hazard springs the offside trap, controls a long ball on his chest, takes it past Mustapha and turns it home!

50′ – Badri with a low shot on target, but it’s a comfortable save for Courtois.

49′ – Alderweireld makes a crucial interception ahead of Khaoui! If Tunisia can get a goal early in the half it will be game on…

47′ – De Bruyne’s low cross finds Alderweireld, who balloons a shot over the target.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+4′ – Half time – Tunisia in real trouble now. The North Africans have actually played quite well in an attacking sense, but their defending has been sub-par and Belgium have been ruthless.

45+3′ – GOAL! Belgium 3-1 Tunisia – Great work from Meunier to put Lukaku in on goal and the big striker shows a deft touch to chip it past Mustapha for 3-1!

45+2′ – Belgium on the counter attack, De Bruyne plays a low cross and it’s just out of reach for Lukaku!

45′ – There will be four minutes of added time.

43′ – Courtois with a clean catch from Khaoui’s corner kick. Closing in on half time in Moscow, can Tunisia level up before the break?

41′ – Substitution – Yohan Benalouane replaces Syam Ben Youssef in another injury-enforced change.

40′ – Now Syam Ben Youssef is down and it looks like he’ll be replaced. Rotten luck for the North Africans…

39′ – Fakhreddine Ben Youssef hits a sweet volley from outside the box, but the ball drifts wide of the target.

37′ – The Tunisia number 10 is back up and running, looks like he’ll be okay.

36′ – Khazri sitting on the ground and holding his right ankle. Tunisia will hope this is not another injury blow…

33′ – Khazri lets fly from long range and Courtois needs two chances to get a hold of that powerful effort!

31′ – Sassi picks up a loose ball on the edge of the box, works space for a shot but sends the ball wide of the target!

30′ – Khazri with an ambitious shot from out wide on the right, no trouble for Courtois.

28′ – Lukaku flicks a ball into Witsel’s path, but his strike on goal is deflected away for a corner kick.

27′ – A great attacking chance for Belgium but Lukaku’s first touch is heavy and he runs it out for a goal kick.

24′ – Substitution – It’s the end of the game for Bronn, he’s been stretchered off and replaced by Hamdi Nagguez.

23′ – A worry here for Tunisia, with Bronn seeming to have twisted his knee. He’s receiving treatment now.

21′ – Alderweireld with a low drive from just outside the box, but it’s wide of the mark.

19′ – Carrasco side-foots a volley on target and Mustapha has to make a fine save!

18′ – GOAL! Belgium 2-1 Tunisia – The Carthage Eagles hit straight back! Khazri’s in-swinging free kick is glanced beyond Courtois’ left hand by Bronn for his first international goal!

16′ – GOAL! Belgium 2-0 Tunisia – A poor give away from Tunisia in the halfway line, Mertens tees up Lukaku and the striker provides a classy finish into the bottom corner of the net!

15′ – Carrasco with a low shot from the left, easily saved by the ‘keeper.

14′ – Yellow card – Sassi goes into the book after remonstrating with the referee. The midfielder felt Khazri had been elbowed by Vertonghen, but replays suggest otherwise.

13′ – Lukaku drives in a low cross from the right to find Hazard… who doesn’t get a clean hit and Mustapha collects. That really should have been 2-0.

10′ – Skhiri looks to chip a ball over the top for Badri to chase, but Courtois gets there first.

9′ – Once again Tunisia find themselves a goal down early in the game. Can they fight back as they did against England?

7′ – GOAL! Belgium 1-0 Tunisia – Hazard tucks away the penalty to give the ‘Red Devils’ an early lead!

5′ – Penalty to Belgium!  Syam Ben Youssef trips up Hazard and it’s a spot kick! VAR are reviewing, it’s very close as to whether it’s in or out of the box… the decision remains: penalty!

3′ – Mustapha has to come quickly off his line to deny Lukaku as the striker sprints onto a long ball! And now the ‘keeper makes a save from Meunier’s long-range effort… a busy opening period for Tunisia’s gloves-man.

2′ – An early free kick for Belgium, but De Bruyne’s delivery is easily handled by goalkeeper Mustapha.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Moscow! Belgium wear a change strip of yellow and black, while Tunisia are in all red.

13h55 – The players are out on the pitch for the national anthems and were are just a few minutes away from kick-off.

13h40 – The referee for this match is Jair Marrufo from the United States.

13h30 – Half an hour to kick-off in Moscow, with Tunisia looking to bounce back from their opening 2-1 defeat to England. Belgium, meanwhile, are on a high after their impressive 3-0 win over Panama and will be looking to close in on last 16 qualification.

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