Dries Mertens - Scoring Belgium's opener vs. Panama was a 'big relief'

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The scoreless first half was testament to the fact that it wasn't, but credit Belgium's stars - namely Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard - for altering the match and making the plays that turned a tense game into something of a runaway by game's end. Panama's lack of precision ultimately cost them dear.

Panama needs a result against England if it wants any opportunity of the final group game against Tunisia to have meaning.

Belgium impressed in an unbeaten qualifying campaign, becoming the first European nation to book their place at Russian Federation 2018. "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". With his squad selection exclusively based on the attacking nature of his side, Martinez will select a team likewise. Axel Witsel and Kevin de Bruyne are set to take up the central midfield berths in support of a top class trio of attackers.

Belgium were without defensive lynchpin Vincent Kompany but his replacement, Dedryck Boyata, was rarely tested.

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Tunisia will play without star Youssef Msakni, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on April 7. The last time these two teams met opened the 1998 World Cup , a match England won 2-0.

Lukaku then added a third with a chipped finish after a fine through ball from Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

Hernan Gomez has selected his best squad ahead of the world cup. As half-time approached, Panama had to rely on goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who saved well from Hazard and at the feet of the marauding Lukaku. His conservative approach is keeping in mind the potential of Belgium's attackers.

The Central Americans lined up with a team of journeymen featuring five thirty-somethings.

The manager will likely have a four-man midfield to combat the threat of Belgium's midfielders and start attacks against their defence. "Everyone took his responsibility". "Panama played really well organised". The match is the second one on Day 5 of the FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

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Belgium are Unbeaten in their last nine World Cup group games. His players bring solid worldwide 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. Eden Hazard is their talisman in attack and will have to take up more responsibility in Russian Federation. However, Hazard came close again in the 38th minute.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium proved too good for World Cup debutants Panama in the opening match in England's Group G.

On paper this game should be a canter for Belgium. The presence of high profile names in every area of the pitch for Belgium will be enough to see them through and win against Panama comprehensively.

On the other hand, Belgium is No 3 ranked in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and has been one of the best sides in the tournament.

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