Croatia 0-0 Belgium : World Cup journey over for Belgium

Last Updated on 01/12/2022 by

Belgium was held to a scoreless draw by Croatia on Thursday, which resulted in their elimination from the World Cup.

The Red Devils knew a draw against the Croatia in Group F would only be sufficient if Morocco lost to Canada. But in their match, Morocco quickly took the lead with two goals, forcing Belgium to fight for the victory at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

croatia vs belgium
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Romelu Lukaku turned down many of Belgium’s chances in the final half hour, allowing Croatia to advance as the team that finished second to Morocco in Doha. Morocco held on to win the match.

Within 10 seconds of the game’s opening kickoff, Croatia came dangerously close to shocking Belgium by taking the lead. Ivan Perisic beat Leander Dendoncker and fired a shot just wide of the far post.

With Yannick Carrasco forcing a save from Dominik Livakovic shortly after Roberto Martinez’s team would have learned that Morocco had gained an advantage in the other match, Belgium may have benefited from the early wake-up call.

Then, Belgium broke through through Kevin De Bruyne, who appeared to play Dries Mertens the ideal through ball, but the seasoned forward could only send his shot high over the crossbar.

When Carrasco collided with Andrej Kramaric, Croatia believed they had won a penalty. However, VAR bizarrely requested that the referee make the call at the monitor rather than relying on the technology, leading to Belgium being given a reprieve for offside.

croatia vs belgium
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As Morocco went up 2-0 against Canada as a result of the incident, Croatia benefited from the lack of early vigour in the game and continued to dominate without contributing anything noteworthy.

Josip Juranovic’s miss from the edge of the box in the fourth minute of extra time highlighted the fact that Belgium needed to make a change at halftime.

Lukaku was switched on at that point, and he quickly asserted himself with a header at the back post. Croatia retaliated by applying constant pressure to the other end of the field.

Both Marcelo Brozovic and Modric launched powerful shots from about 18 yards out, and Courtois had to be quick to parry each attempt away from the net.

However, Belgium was the country that ought to have advanced. The ball ricocheted into Lukaku’s path after Carrasco was stopped in his tracks by a last-ditch block, and he struck the inside of the post from a distance of eight yards.

croatia vs belgium
pic @twitter

Even though the ball had already left the field when Lukaku attempted to score with a close-range header, the record-holder for his country was lacking assurance in the final third.

Although both teams had their moments, there weren’t many clear-cut opportunities until Lukaku missed another one with four minutes remaining, flicking a sharp opportunity wide of the post from close range.

Soon after, a better opportunity was lost when Thorgan Hazard’s perfectly floated cross found Romelu Lukaku at the back post but the Inter Milan forward failed to anticipate the ball’s arrival and it bounced off him into the appreciative hands of Livakovic.

Josko Gvardiol made a huge save late on to stop Romelu Lukaku from scoring from three yards out, and that was Croatia’s final opportunity to advance to the knockout stages.

After their Group F match ended in a scoreless draw, Croatia beat Belgium to advance to the round of 16. Romelu Lukaku missed four excellent opportunities that could have prevented the Red Devils from losing the match early, but neither team was able to force a breakthrough.

After coming on at halftime, Lukaku had a frustrating evening as he hit the post and missed from close range. Croatia held firm defensively to secure the scoreless draw and advance ahead of Belgium in second place, while Morocco finished first in Group F thanks to their victory over Canada.


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