Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico seal wins

28 June, 2018, 15:48 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Roberto Martínez admits Romelu Lukaku suffered ligament damage in win

"Some like him and some don't", he said.

When pressed on whether Belgium are now a good bet for the trophy, Martinez said there was a need to build the players' own expectations, balancing focus and self-confidence.

Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens both also suffered minor issues in the Tunisia game and their participation against England could be limited as a precaution, even if there are no major concerns.

Since losing its first match under Martinez against Spain two years ago, Belgium is unbeaten in 21 games (16 wins) and has outscored opponents 72-17 during the run.

After his hat trick against Panama, Kane is the World Cup's top scorer with five goals. And if their first two games are anything to go by, opposition teams have a lot to worry about.

Belgium are beginning to look the part at this summer's World Cup, with another resounding victory over the Eagles of Carthage.

Toni Kroos rescued holders Germany from the brink of an unthinkable early World Cup exit early today, curling home a sensational victor in the fifth minute of stoppage time to seal a 2-1 win over Sweden, reports AFP.

"It was a great game to watch as a neutral but that doesn't mean that we are the finished article".

But Belgians are wary, having started tournaments strongly before only to fail, as they did at the last World Cup and at Euro 2016, in the quarter-finals.

Lukaku now has four goals in just two World Cup appearances in Russian Federation this summer.

It's not just Belgium's starting XI who have impressed.

"It shows the strength of the Belgium national team that they can take off their leading all-time goalscorer and bring on someone who can get six good chances", said former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba on BBC One.

The Spartak Stadium was transformed into the Garden of Eden (Hazard) as the mercurial leader inspired a relentless Belgian side to a 5-2 win over plucky Tunisia. Substitute Michy Batshuayi also got on the scoresheet, so Belgium have a class replacement ready to go. There will be opportunities to give minutes to other players.

"For our country, that would be a very hard mindset to have", Southgate said of the possibility of taking it easy. England famously fell short from 2002-2010 when most of the players in their so called "golden generation" just couldn't make it count on the big stage.

Training is conducted in English under Spanish coach Roberto Martinez, who spent a decade managing in England.

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