World Cup 2018: Belgium v Tunisia

The Red Devils can secure their place in the last-16 with victory in Moscow

Patrick Madden Sat, Jun 23
 
LIVE: World Cup 2018: Belgium v Tunisia

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  • 12:31

    Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Belgium's Group G clash with Tunisia in Moscow (kick-off 1.0).

    It took the Red Devils a while to get going in their World Cup opener against Panama - but they steadily moved through the gears and opened their campaign with a 3-0 win, thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku.

    They can secure their passage into the last-16 with victory today - and with few sides yet to put their hands up as potential champions elect, they have the opportunity to make a statement in the process.

    Tunisia meanwhile hung on grimly for much of their clash with England - only for Harry Kane to break their hearts in injury time. A point today is the minimum if they want - improbably - to keep their tournament alive.

    We'll be bringing you all of the action from the Spartak Stadium, on another stunning Saturday of sport.

    Come on!!!

  • 12:36

    TEAM NEWS:

    Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Eden Hazard.  Subs: Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels.

    Tunisia: Ben Mustapha; Bronn, Syam Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul; Khaoui, Skhiri, Sassi; Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Khazri, Badri. Subs: Mathlouthi, Benalouane, Haddadi, Bedoui, Ben Amor, Khalil, Srarfi, Khalifa, Chaalali, Nagguez, Sliti.

    Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA).

  • 12:40

    No changes for Belgium today - and plenty of familiar faces in their starting  XI.  


    Tunisia make two - goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha came on as a sub for the injured Mouez Hassen against England and retains his place, while Naim Sliti is replaced by  Saif-Eddine Kahoui.

  • 12:40
  • 12:44

    Today is the 10th (10th?!) day of the World Cup, and Keith Duggan has written about a tournament which so far has shown it is possible to separate Vladimir Putin's Russia and the people who live in it.  

    You can read his thoughts from Moscow HERE.

  • 12:50
    10 mins until kick-off!
  • 12:58
    Anthems done in Moscow. Tunisia in red this afternoon - Belgium's Red Devils in their yellow change strip.
  • 13:00
    BEEEEEEEEEEEP!
  • 13:01
    1 min: Early free-kick for Belgium in the inside right channel. Hazard takes but it's far too close to Ben Mustapha who claims comfortably.
  • 13:04
    2 min: Positive surge from Badri down the left and he wants a free-kick but the ref waves play on. Belgium clear long and Lukaku is after it but the Tunisian goalkeeper gets there just in time. Moments later Meunier cuts inside but his low left-footed effort is comfortable for Ben Mustapha.
  • 13:04
    PENALTY TO BELGIUM!!!!
  • 13:06
    6 min: Slick play from Belgium and Hazard scampers into the box where  Syam Ben Youssef hacks him down. Tunisia protest it's outside the area - but the ref points to the spot.
  • 13:06

    GOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

    BELGIUM 1 TUNISIA 0 (HAZARD 7 MIN)

  • 13:08

    Hazard sends the 'keeper the wrong way, rolling the ball into the bottom left corner. Never in doubt.

    8 MIN: BELGIUM 1 TUNISIA 0

  • 13:10
    10 MIN: BELGIUM 1 TUNISIA 0
  • 13:13
    12 min: Big chance for Hazard to double Belgium's lead. Meunier has started brightly and he carries inside before releasing Lukaku down the right. He crosses with his weaker right foot to Hazard, who fluffs his first time shot - comfortable for the 'keeper.
  • 13:13
  • 13:15
    13 min: Rare foray into the Belgium final-third for Tunisia and they want a free-kick after Vertonghen muscles Khazri off the ball. Referee Marrufo isn't interested and Sassi is booked after complaining over-zealously.
  • 13:15

    GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

    BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 0 (LUKAKU 15 MIN)

  • 13:17

    No hint of a slow start from Belgium today. Mertens nips in to win the ball on halfway and he plays in Lukaku on the left. He takes a touch and then finishes low into the bottom left corner. Ruthless.

    17 MIN: BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 0

  • 13:18

    GOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!

    BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 1 (BRONN 18 MIN)

  • 13:20

    Tunisia have a free-kick on the left which Khazri swings into the area, Bronn flicking his header beyond Courtois into the far corner. Belgium's back three all at sea there.

    19 MIN: BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 1

  • 13:22
  • 13:24
    21 min: Alderweireld carries the ball towards the Tunisian box and drags a shot well wide of the far post. There's a break in play for a serious looking knee injury to goalscorer Bronn. Ecstasy to agony. He's replaced by Nagguez.
  • 13:27
    26 min: Lukaku is in again but this time his touch is poor. De Bruyne wins the ball back and slides him in - the Manchester United striker shows too much of it to Ben Mustapha.
  • 13:29
    27 min: Tunisia give the ball away to Hazard on the left. He finds Lukaku in the box again who lays it off to Witsel, his rising shot is deflected over.
  • 13:30
    29 min: Khazri chases onto a ball in the inside right channel - no red shirts in the box, and his cross/shot sails harmlessly over Courtois' goal.
  • 13:30
    30 MIN: BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 1
  • 13:32
    31 min: Break down the right for Tunisia and it's crossed into the Belgian box, where Boyata turns it away. It falls for Sassi on the edge, who takes a touch onto his right but doesn't get enough behind the shot. Belgium are looking vulnerable at the back.
  • 13:34
    33 min: Hazard gives the ball away and Tunisia have it in the final third again - it comes for Khazri who curls a decent effort which Courtois almost makes a meal of.  
  • 13:35
    34 min: Khazri with another good run from deep - he looks to slide in Khaoui but overcooks the pass. Tunisia giving Belgium plenty to think about.
  • 13:38
    37 min: De Bruyne plays it into Hazard who gets hacked down as he turns  Syam Ben Youssef. Khazri limps back onto the pitch after receiving treatment.  
  • 13:40
    39 min:  Fakhreddine Ben Youssef tries a fanciful volley from 20 yards and makes a nice connection - but it's well wide.
  • 13:40
    40 MIN: BELGIUM 2 TUNISIA 1
  • 13:42
    41 min: Another enforced change for Tunisia -  Syam Ben Youssef replaced by  Ben Alouane.
  • 13:43
    43 min: Boyata has to react sharply to turn the ball behind for a Tunisian corner. They go short and whip it in but it's too close to Courtois.
  • 13:48
    47 min: Big chance for Belgium just before the break. Excellent acceleration form Hazard and he slides in   De Bruyne on the right. He tries to square it for Lukaku but overcooks the pass.
  • 13:49

    GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

    BELGIUM 3 TUNISIA 1 (LUKAKU 48 MIN)

  • 13:50

    Meunier wins the ball on the right and carries inside. Lukaku makes a brilliant ball into the box and then lifts it over the onrushing Ben Mustapha for his second goal. That's four in the tournament for Big Rom.

    HT: BELGIUM 3 TUNISIA 1

  • 14:01
  • 14:06
    The teams are back out for the second half.
  • 14:07
    And we're back underway!
  • 14:07
  • 14:09
    46 min: Meriah heads behind a long kick from Courtois under pressure from Lukaku. Belgium work the corner and it's played in to Alderweireld by De Bruyne - but the Spurs defender can't keep his shot down at the near post.
  • 14:12
    49 min: Glimpse for Tunisia as the ball's played towards an unmarked Khazri at the back post - he can't get enough purchase on his volley, and the flag was up anyhow.
  • 14:12

    GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

    BELGIUM 4 TUNISIA 1 (HAZARD 50 MIN)

  • 14:14

    Alderweireld plays Hazard through. His first touch gets him beyond Ben Alouane and the second round Ben Mustapha, before he finishes coolly.

    53 MIN: BELGIUM 4 TUNISIA 1

  • 14:21

    57 min: Carrasco has a chance to get down the outside but pulls it back instead where it's cleared. Another ball is played towards the back post where De Bruyne can't quite get his head on it. Belgium could rack up a cricket score here - if they can boost the goal difference further it will give them the edge on England.

    Lukaku is coming off after another good performance - replaced by Maroune Felliani.

  • 14:23
    60 MIN: BELGIUM 4 TUNISIA 1
  • 14:23
    61 min: The ball is played across the edge and Hazard flicks it to Carrasco who curls one towards the top corner. It looks like the net is about to ripple - but it's fractions wide.
  • 14:28
    65 min: This game is approacing friendly pace now. Boyata turns behind a Khazri cross for a corner and they work it short - Khazri's next delivery is also headed away. Sliti tries one form the edge which is blocked by Alderweireld - Tunisia want a penalty for handball but would have been incredibly harsh.
  • 14:28
    67 min: Opening on the edge for Badri - his low effort is straight at Courtois.
  • 14:30
    68 min: Martinez makes his next change - Hazard's work is done and he's replaced by  Michy Batshuayi.
  • 14:31
    70 MIN: BELGIUM 4 TUNISIA 1
  • 14:32
    70 min: Good work from substitute Sliti on the left and he's bundled over by Boyata. Khazri swings the free kick in which Fellaini heads clear - a follow-up shot sails miles over.
  • 14:34
    72 min: A brave header clear from Vertonghen - he catches one in the temple from Sliti, but he'll be fine to continue.
  • 14:37
    74 min: Lovely slide rule pass from De Bruyne to play in Batshuayi - Ben Mustapha races out to clear and does well not to handle it outside his box.  
  • 14:38
    75 min:  Batshuayi is played through again and this time he gets past the 'keeper - but his left-footed finish on the angle is tame and Meriah clears it off the line brilliantly.
  • 14:42
    79 min: What a miss!!! De Bruyne breaks and it comes for Carrasco on the edge. He cuts inside and his shot is fumbled by Ben Mustapha - but  Batshuayi rattles the rebound off the crossbar from six yards. Doh.
  • 14:42
    80 MIN: BELGIUM 4 TUNISIA 1
  • 14:43
    81 min: I'm not sure it's  Batshuayi's day... Excellent work from De Bruyne to pull it back from the byline but  Batshuayi's left-footed effort on the spin is straight at the 'keeper. He could have had four by now.
  • 14:47
    85 min: Last change for Belgium - Mertens replaced by Tielemans.
  • 14:48
    86 min: Batshuayi thinks he's in... offside.
  • 14:50
    88 min: Meunier scampers down the right and plays it across goal with Carrasco lurking at the back post - vital interception from Ben Alouane.
  • 14:52

    GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!

    BELGIUM 5 TUNISIA 1 (BATSHUAYI 89 MIN)

  • 14:53

    He finally gets his goal! Tielemans curls a ball to the backpost where  Batshuayi peels off his man and finishes first time across goal with his left foot. Smartly taken.

    92 MIN: BELGIUM 5 TUNISIA   1

  • 14:54
    92 min:  Batshuayi has a chance for another but scuffs his effort after a smart first touch.
  • 14:54

    GOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!

    BELGIUM 5 TUNISIA 2 (KHAZRI 93 MIN)

  • 14:55

    Nagguez bursts down the right and pulls it back into the box where Khazri bobbles a finish past Courtois into the far corner.

    93 MIN: BELGIUM 5 TUNISIA 2

  • 14:55
    FT: BELGIUM 5 TUNISIA 2
  • 15:17

    Thanks for joining - that's all from us today but we'll be back tomorrow as England take on Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.

    Cya!