2018 World Cup: Belgium 5-2 Tunisia – As it happened

2018 World Cup: Belgium 5-2 Tunisia – As it happened
Dele Alli (R) of England and Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group G preliminary round soccer match between Tunisia and England in Volgograd, Russia, 18 June 2018.

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 23, 2018. 15:50

Welcome to as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup Group G match between Belgium and Tunisia from the Otkritie Arena in Moscow.


Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Dedryck Boyata, Thomas Meunier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens

Tunisia: Farouk Ben Mustapha, Ali Maaloul, Dylan Bronn, Syam Ben Youssef, Yassine Meriah, Ferjani Sassi, Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Ellyes Skhiri, Anice Badri, Wahbi Khazri, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef

Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT

90+4' - Full time - Done and dusted, a convincing win for Belgium. Tunisia's elimination from the tournament will be confirmed tomorrow if England avoid defeat against Panama.

90+3' - GOAL! Belgium 5-2 Tunisia - Khazri has a consolation goal for Tunisia, turning home Nagguez's cross from the right.

90+2' - Batshuayi looking for another goal and sends a low shot just wide!

90' - GOAL! Belgium 5-1 Tunisia - Finally Batshuayi gets his goal, turning home Carrasco's cross from the right!

88' - Benalouane with a vital interception as Belgium continue to search for a fifth goal.

86' - Substitution - Mertens makes way for Youri Tielemans in Belgium's final change.

84' - Tunisia now look like a team just hoping to get to the final whistle without any further damage. They have been completely outclassed in this match.

81' - Batshuayi shoots on target from De Bruyne's cross, but it's a great save from Mustapha!

79' - Carrasco's shot is spilled by the 'keeper and Batshuayi belts the rebound onto the crossbar from close range! The substitute striker should have scored twice already!

76' - Now Batshuayi rounds the 'keeper and chips the ball toward goal, but Meriah clears off the line!

75' - Mustapha quickly off his line to deny Batshuayi, though there was a hint of him perhaps handling the ball outside the box.

72' - A clash of heads between Sliti and Vertonghen, with the Belgian defender looking a little worse for wear.

70' - Khazri whips in another good free kick, Fellaini heads clear and Khaoui sends a shot way over the crossbar from the loose ball.

68' - Substitution - Michy Batshuayi replaces Hazard for Belgium.

67' - Badri with a lovely turn and shot from just outside the box, but Courtois makes a comfortable save.

64' - Hazard shoots from long range but it's high and wide.

61' - Badri with a great chance to pull a goal back for Tunisia but he can't get a clean connection! At the other end Carrasco looks to curl one into the top corner but sends it just wide!

60' - Substitution - Naim Sliti replaces Sassi in Tunisia's third and final change.

59' - Substitution - Belgium's first change sees Lukaku replaced by Marouane Fellaini.

57' - If Belgium don't take their foot off the pedal they could bring up a real big score here.

55' - A little flare-up between Ben Youssef and Carrasco as Tunisia's frustration begins to get the better of them.

52' - That was way too easy for Belgium, once again Tunisia's defence was AWOL. And there's surely no way back now for the North Africans.

51' - GOAL! Belgium 4-1 Tunisia - Hazard springs the offside trap, controls a long ball on his chest, takes it past Mustapha and turns it home!

50' - Badri with a low shot on target, but it's a comfortable save for Courtois.

49' - Alderweireld makes a crucial interception ahead of Khaoui! If Tunisia can get a goal early in the half it will be game on...

47' - De Bruyne's low cross finds Alderweireld, who balloons a shot over the target.

46' - Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+4' - Half time - Tunisia in real trouble now. The North Africans have actually played quite well in an attacking sense, but their defending has been sub-par and Belgium have been ruthless.

45+3' - GOAL! Belgium 3-1 Tunisia - Great work from Meunier to put Lukaku in on goal and the big striker shows a deft touch to chip it past Mustapha for 3-1!

45+2' - Belgium on the counter attack, De Bruyne plays a low cross and it's just out of reach for Lukaku!

45' - There will be four minutes of added time.

43' - Courtois with a clean catch from Khaoui's corner kick. Closing in on half time in Moscow, can Tunisia level up before the break?

41' - Substitution - Yohan Benalouane replaces Syam Ben Youssef in another injury-enforced change.

40' - Now Syam Ben Youssef is down and it looks like he'll be replaced. Rotten luck for the North Africans...

39' - Fakhreddine Ben Youssef hits a sweet volley from outside the box, but the ball drifts wide of the target.

37' - The Tunisia number 10 is back up and running, looks like he'll be okay.

36' - Khazri sitting on the ground and holding his right ankle. Tunisia will hope this is not another injury blow...

33' - Khazri lets fly from long range and Courtois needs two chances to get a hold of that powerful effort!

31' - Sassi picks up a loose ball on the edge of the box, works space for a shot but sends the ball wide of the target!

30' - Khazri with an ambitious shot from out wide on the right, no trouble for Courtois.

28' - Lukaku flicks a ball into Witsel's path, but his strike on goal is deflected away for a corner kick.

27' - A great attacking chance for Belgium but Lukaku's first touch is heavy and he runs it out for a goal kick.

24' - Substitution - It's the end of the game for Bronn, he's been stretchered off and replaced by Hamdi Nagguez.

23' - A worry here for Tunisia, with Bronn seeming to have twisted his knee. He's receiving treatment now.

21' - Alderweireld with a low drive from just outside the box, but it's wide of the mark.

19' - Carrasco side-foots a volley on target and Mustapha has to make a fine save!

18' - GOAL! Belgium 2-1 Tunisia - The Carthage Eagles hit straight back! Khazri's in-swinging free kick is glanced beyond Courtois' left hand by Bronn for his first international goal!

16' - GOAL! Belgium 2-0 Tunisia - A poor give away from Tunisia in the halfway line, Mertens tees up Lukaku and the striker provides a classy finish into the bottom corner of the net!

15' - Carrasco with a low shot from the left, easily saved by the 'keeper.

14' - Yellow card - Sassi goes into the book after remonstrating with the referee. The midfielder felt Khazri had been elbowed by Vertonghen, but replays suggest otherwise.

13' - Lukaku drives in a low cross from the right to find Hazard... who doesn't get a clean hit and Mustapha collects. That really should have been 2-0.

10' - Skhiri looks to chip a ball over the top for Badri to chase, but Courtois gets there first.

9' - Once again Tunisia find themselves a goal down early in the game. Can they fight back as they did against England?

7' - GOAL! Belgium 1-0 Tunisia - Hazard tucks away the penalty to give the 'Red Devils' an early lead!

5' - Penalty to Belgium!  Syam Ben Youssef trips up Hazard and it's a spot kick! VAR are reviewing, it's very close as to whether it's in or out of the box... the decision remains: penalty!

3' - Mustapha has to come quickly off his line to deny Lukaku as the striker sprints onto a long ball! And now the 'keeper makes a save from Meunier's long-range effort... a busy opening period for Tunisia's gloves-man.

2' - An early free kick for Belgium, but De Bruyne's delivery is easily handled by goalkeeper Mustapha.

1' - Kick-off - We are underway in Moscow! Belgium wear a change strip of yellow and black, while Tunisia are in all red.

13h55 - The players are out on the pitch for the national anthems and were are just a few minutes away from kick-off.

13h40 - The referee for this match is Jair Marrufo from the United States.

13h30 - Half an hour to kick-off in Moscow, with Tunisia looking to bounce back from their opening 2-1 defeat to England. Belgium, meanwhile, are on a high after their impressive 3-0 win over Panama and will be looking to close in on last 16 qualification.

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