FIFA World Cup 2018 Group G
Panama made their debut after squeaking through the qualifiers thanks to a disputed equaliser against Costa Rica. Belgium, ranked third in FIFA's world ratings, and England, fielding a young team under new manager Gareth Southgate, started out as favourites to progress but given England's record against lower ranked sides, nothing could be taken for granted.
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Belgium 3 Panama 0
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Belgium eased past debutantes Panama with three second half goals, two of them scored by Lukaku.
Tunisia 1 England 2
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
England started well, playing a fast, precision passing game and were rewarded in the 11th minute when captain Harry Kane slotted home from close range after the Tunisian goalkeeper Mouez clawed away Stones' header. Chances came thick and fast but it was Tunisia who scored next, quite against the run of play, when Ben Youssef contrived to tangle with Walker and win a penalty. In the second half Tunisia set out to frustrate England and the match threatened to descend into farce when Kane was twice wrestled to the ground in the penalty area, raising the question of what the VAR team in Moscow were doing. England seemed to lose heart but Kane, leading by example, finally shook off his markers to turn a corner into the undefended net in injury time.
Belgium 5 Tunisia 2
Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow
Belgium crushed Tunisia with a terrific display of attacking football. Hazard opened the scoring with a penalty (5'), Lukaku adding a second 11 minutes later. Tunisia made it 2-1 (18') but two more Belgian goals either side of half-time sealed their fate. Batshuayi made it 5-1 on 90 minutes while Khazri scored Tunisia's second in the third minute of added time.
England 6 Panama 1
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
England made the perfect riposte to Belgium's win the previous day, overwhelming a poor Panama team with Kane scoring a hat-trick. Panama did their best to disrupt England through rough play and niggling fouls but their wrestling tactics in the penalty area were duly punished by the referee and they conceded two penalties. Leading 5-0 at half-time, England eased off while Panama abandoned their rough-house tactics and were rewarded with a late goal (Baloy 78') that was greeted with exuberant jubilation by the substantial Panamanian contingent in the stadium.
England 0 Belgium 1
Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
Since both teams had already qualified the managers decided to rest key players and put out reserve teams. On this showing, Belgium have greater strength in depth than England. With little at stake (finishing top of the group would not guarantee an easier route through the knock out phase) Belgium had the edge and went ahead when Januzaj curled the ball into the net shortly after half-time. The highlight of what was otherwise a pretty dull game came when Batshuayi, celebrating the goal, kicked the ball against the post only for it to bounce back and strike him full in the face. Oh how we laughed.
Panama 1 Tunisia 2
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Panama led at half-time after Yassine Meriah deflected a shot into his own goal but Tunisia fought back with goals from Ben Youssef (51') and Khazri (66'). Tunisia certainly deserved to win.