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World Cup 2022 - Belgium is eliminated against Croatia: And that should be offside?


A narrow decision for offside prevented a penalty for Croatia. Nevertheless, Luka Modrić's team made it into the round of 16 at the World Cup - also because Belgium's Lukaku missed several big chances. At the end there was a fist punch.

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Narrow decision for offside against Croatia


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Hope Lukaku:

He is Belgium's record goalscorer - by far.

Romelu Lukaku has already scored 68 goals for his country.

But the attacker had been suffering from an injury to his left thigh for a long time in the past few months, and a World Cup exit was also discussed at the time.

He missed the first World Cup game against Canada and came on as a substitute in the 81st minute of the second game against Morocco.

The attacker came on at half-time against Croatia – and was the center of attention several times (more on that later).

The result:

It was a 0-0 of the more exciting kind.

The draw secured Croatia a place in the round of 16 behind group winners Morocco, who celebrated group victory in the parallel game against Canada.

Belgium has already been eliminated in the group stage.

Here is the match report.

Beyond Eden:

Remarkably, Belgium coach Roberto Martínez left his captain on the bench early in the most important game in several years.

Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard, who failed to impress in the first two group games, did not start, nor did his brother Thorgan, who plays for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Eden was only allowed onto the field shortly before the end.

First half:

A few chances, no goals - that's how the first half can be summed up.

Croatia's Ivan Perisic had the first shot on goal after just a few seconds, but missed the goal.

Belgium's best chance came after a counterattack, Kevin De Bruyne made a remarkable pass to Dries Mertens, whose direct acceptance sailed well over the goal (13').

And Belgium again: After a pass from Leander Dendoncker, Mertens again failed to hit the ball properly and tumbled wide (42').

Was that offside?

There almost came a big chance for Croatia in the 18th minute when referee Anthony Smith awarded a penalty against Belgium after a foul.

But according to the video images, the referee took the penalty back because of an offside position by Dejan Lovren.

An incredibly close call, as the computer generated graphic shows (read the offside rulebook here).

Vote: Was that offside?

The beacon of hope as a chance death:

Now we come to the performance of Lukaku.

With his acceptance, the game seemed to change at first.

He put pressure on Croatia's defense and tested Croatia keeper Dominik Livaković with a header in the 48th minute.

After Yannick Carrasco dribbled, the ball bounced in front of Lukaku's feet, the goal was empty - and the attacker hit the post.

Shortly thereafter, Lukaku headed over the goal, but the ball had previously been out of bounds, so a possible goal probably wouldn't have counted.

And Croatia?

Was actually the better team and always had chances.

But Kovacic's shot from the edge of the penalty area (49') was defused by Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, as was Luka Modrić's long-range effort (68').

The Real Madrid star had previously shot an attempt from afar well over the goal (50th).

Croatia was often able to penetrate the Belgian penalty area but was then somehow stopped or the last pass didn't arrive.

Crunch time for the round

of 16: With Morocco in the lead it was clear that Belgium still needed a goal.

Again it was Lukaku who was shot after a cross from Thomas Meunier rather than firing a controlled shot on target – the ball went just wide of the post (86').

And it got even worse: After a cross from Eden Hazard, Lukaku couldn't get the ball over the line from two meters away with his stomach.

It was to be the last chance, Croatia remained without a goal and celebrated the round of 16.

Belgium is out.

Outbreak after the end of the game:

Lukaku was very frustrated about being eliminated – and probably also about his missed chances.

Video footage showed the striker going to the Belgian substitutes' bench after the end of the game and knocking a disc out of the frame with his fist.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-12-01

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