Moscow: Belgium have a reputation of scoring in the second-half. A volley by Mertens and Lukaku’s two goals made it look easy for the Red-Devils as they beat the debutants 3-0. Panama looked determined but hardly troubled the Belgium goalkeeper Courtois. Belgium will be happy with the result and face Tunisia next in Group G. Panama, on the other hand, need to improve on their quality up-front.
Here are the updates from the match:
Belgium 3-0 Panama!
90+2 minute: Lukaku goes down near the Panama box rather theatrically.
4 minutes of Stoppage time!
88 minute: Panama's Escobar successfully gets past the Belgium wall but hits it straight to goalkeeper Courtois.
87 minute: Yellow card! De Bruyne gets booked for a high-boot challenge. Free-kick to Panama at the left-flank.
5 minutes to go!
85 minute: Brilliant save by the Belgium goalkeeper Courtois, denies Panama with a consolation goal.
83 minute: Substitution for Belgium! T. Hazard replaces Mertens. This is the first time that Belgium have scored three goals in one half at a World cup.
82 minute: Free-kick for Belgium. Hazard hits the ball straight into the Panama defenders.
79 minute: If Lukaku sneaks in another goal he will be the first ever Belgium player to score a hattrick at a World Cup.
Belgium 3-0 Panama!
76 minute: GOAL!!! LUKAKU scores again, a great pass from Hazard as Lukaku takes Belgium 3-0
72 minute: Panama's heads are down, It will be really difficult for them to make a comeback from here. Tejada replaces Pérez in substitution.
Belgium 2-0 Panama!
69 minute: GOAL!!! Lukaku heads a curling shot from De Bruyne into the Panama net, to give Belgium their second goal.
66 minute: While Panama have had a couple attempts at the Belgium goal, the latter continues to enjoy a healthy possession of 64 percent.
64 minute: Free-kick for Belgium at a dangerous spot. De Bruyne kicks the ball straight into the Panama wall.
59 minute: Yellow card! Belgium's Vertonghen gets a Yellow card after a clumsy foul on a Panama player.
55 minute: Panama create space up-front and the forwards try to hit the goal from distance but clouds it away from the goal. Panama are on the attack.
53 minute: Yellow card! Panama's Godoy gets booked.
52 minute: MISS! Panama's Murillo misses a golden opportunity to equalise, that looked like a certain goal before Belgium goalkeeper slided in to clear the danger.
50 minutes: Yellow card! Series of Yellow cards for Panama. Murillo and Cooper get booked.
Belgium 1-0 Panama
48 minute: GOAL!!! What a Volley! Mertens scores a stunner! Belgium 1-0 Panama
46 minute: Free-kick for Belgium after Davis concedes a foul. Davis needs to be careful here.
Second-half is underway:
Belgium 0-0 Panama!
45 minute: Yellow card for Bárcenas as he pushes a Belgium player down. The Panama players needs to be careful now.
2 minutes of Stoppage time:
43 minute: Panama on the counter after Belgium players are cramped for space by the Panama defenders.
41 minute: Cooper tries a shot on the Belgium goal, kicks an air-ball away from the crossbar. Panama supporters would be happy with the result so far.
39 minute: Lukaku looked threatening in the Panama box, Panama survive.
38 minute: Panama have their second corner.
37 minute: Corner for Belgium. The ball gets cleared, Belgium have to work on their Corner tactics.
35 minute: While Panama have had a couple of sprints into the Belgium half, they haven't troubled the Belgium goalkeeper Courtois, so far.
34 minute: Corner for Panama. Belgium players allow Panama to create space up-front.
32 minute: Great vision shown by Belgium players are tries to find a player in the right-flank. Passes it wide.
30 minute: Escobar heads the ball to the safety. The corners are starting to mount up for Belgium as the take their 6th corner for the match.
28 minute: Panama's Cooper goes down and goes off the pitch for the moment. Corner for Belgium.
26 minute: Free-kick to Belgium on the left. This could be dangerous. De Bruyne to take the set-piece.
25 minute: Corner for Belgium. Panama are giving away way too many corners.
23 minute: Brilliant run by Panama on the right flank, but the forwards are outnumbered up-front.
20 minute: Third corner for Belgium. Hazard opts for a short pass to De Bruyne who shoots from distance but clouds it past the goal.
18 minute: Panama defenders fail to mark a Belgium player on the run, but survive as ball misses the target. Panama defenders need to be on their toes and cannot afford to make errors.
17 minute: Yellow card! Panama's Davis gets a Yellow card for a foul in his half. Corner for Belgium.
15 minute: Panama hold the ball in the midfield, try to settle in. Barcenas gives away the ball with a foul in the Belgium box.
13 minute: Yellow card! Belgium's Meunier gets booked for a bad foul on Panama player.
11 minute: That was close! Panama defender's poor back pass to his goalkeeper could have resulted in a goal.
9 minute: Belgium are up and attacking early in the first-half. Enjoy a massive 81 percent possession.
6 minutes: Belgium have their first shot on target, Panama's goalkeeper Penedo is going have a busy 90 minutes.
Belgium XI: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku
Panama XI: Penedo, Román, Escobar, Davis, Murillo, Gómez, Godoy, Cooper, Bárcenas, Rodríguez, Blas Pérez
A team which sits third in the FIFA rankings and which boasts what is frequently labelled a golden generation featuring the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne have come to Russia with a considerable weight of expectation on their shoulders.
They are strongly fancied to progress to the knockout phase as winners of Group G, despite being drawn alongside England, and so it would be a major upset if they slipped up in Sochi against a side making their World Cup debut.
Monday will see a total of six teams squaring off with each other with each of them confident of beating their opponent on the ground.
Belgium full squad:
Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg/GER), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/ENG), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool/ENG)
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham/ENG), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic/SCO), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles/USA - to replace Kompany if unfit), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany
(Manchester City/ENG), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona/ESP), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham/ENG)
Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yinfang/CHN), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham/ENG), Marouane Fellaini
(Manchester United/ENG), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad/ESP), Youri Tielemans (Monaco/FRA), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian/CHN), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/ENG), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia M'gladbach/GER), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United/ENG), Dries Mertens
Panama full squad:
Goalkeepers: Jose Calderon (Chorrillo FC), Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC).
Defenders: Felipe Baloy (CSD Municipal), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo),
Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders).
Midfielders: Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Club Universidad de Chile), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Gabriel Gómez (Bucaramanga), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza
Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario de Lima), Jose Luis Rodriguez (KAA Gent).
Forwards: Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruna), Blas Perez (CSD Municipal), Luis Tejada (Sports Boys), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato).