By Izuchukwu Okosi
Tunisia became the latest African representatives at the 2018 World Cup to be eliminated at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 5-2 thrashing suffered against Belgium on Saturday in their second Group G match.
Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku (both braces) and Mitchy Batschuayi were on target for Belgium while Dylan Bronn and Whabi Khazri were the scorers for the north Africans.
Belgium scored the game’s first goal through an Eden Hazard penalty in the sixth minute.
Belgium produced some flowing football and Hazard was fouled by Ben Youssef just inside the box.
Belgium threatened a few more times while Ferjani Sassi was yellow carded for dissent as Whabi Khazri’s penalty appeal was overlooked.
However Lukaku doubled the Belgians’ lead when he fired the ball to the bottom right corner after leaving his marker in his wake in the 16th minute through the legs of Ben Youssef in Tunisia’s goal.
Tunisia pulled one back as Bronn glanced Khazri’s free-kick across the keeper and into the far corner.
.Lukaku grabbed his hat trick and Belgium’s third goal with a deft finish after a good pass from Thomas Meunier in the third minute of added time.
Hazard made it 4-1 for Belgium in the 51st minute when he received a lofted pass from midfield, rounded Tunisia’s keeper, Farouk Ben Mustapha to slot easily.
Second half substitute Mitchy Batchuayi had three chances to extend Belgium’s lead, first rounding Ben Mustapha who came charging out of his goal area but unlucky to see defender Yaccine Median clear the ball from the goal line.
The Chelsea man then saw his close range shot come off the crossbar and another effort blocked.
Batshuayi then got his reward in the 90th minute when he swept home a Youri Tielsmanns’ cross to make it 5-1 and even went close again after that strike but the effort was to weak to trouble the Tunisians.
Khazri reduced the margin with a similar goal as Batshuayi’s but it was only a consolation and too little.