Lukaku missed every goal, Belgium were eliminated and Croatia celebrated

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Four clear opportunities had Romelu Lukaku become the hero of belgium. But it is clear that the Inter forward did not arrive in Qatar with the best version of him. In fact, he wasn’t even a starter.

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He started playing from the start of the second half and in the 14th minute he had his first chance: he was missing just one rebound, with no goalkeeper, and his right foot bounced off the post. Three minutes later, with an empty arc, he headed over the crossbar. The last two were also unsuccessful: in the 41st minute the centre-back hits him on the knee and deflects him, in the 44th minute he stops another cross with his chest without being able to stop him or direct him towards the Croatian goal. Hard to believe in a striker of his category.

This simple statement explains why Belgium could not beat Croatia, because the red devils they raised their level and under the guidance of Kevin De Bruyne they went out looking for the only thing that served them, the triumph. On the other hand, when Luca Modric managed to organize a good attack the Croatians clashed with Thibaut Courtois. Both were missing the same thing: the striker who would have broken the 0-0.

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Many things can change from one World Cup to another. Croatia, runners-up in Russia and first-round hangman of Argentina, faced Belgium, third in 2018, executioner of Brazil, in the quarterfinals. Due to our own mistakes and Morocco’s great credit, only one of them could get the ticket to the round of 16.

So the match was exciting, one goal changed everything. But neither Croatia nor Belgium look like what they showed in Russia, even if many names are repeated. With a 4-3-3, Croatia chose to play against, guided by the wisdom of Modric.

The Real Madrid midfielder, winner of the FIFA award for best player at the last World Cup, is still on the force at 37. All your decisions are the right onesall of his passes reach their destination and include a second play of his own design.

The problem is that his teammates are not at the level of understanding of the game that Luka retains. And Croatia generated little, just a few good shots that Courtois (the best goalkeeper of Russia 2018, also according to FIFA) solved with hierarchy.

But most of the time it was Belgium who sought. With three behind and a flexible midfield, always under the command of De Bruyne, they manage to break through the fierce Croatian defense but lack the finishing touch.

It was said: the best opportunities were from Lukaku. Most of them seemed easy to fix. To the good Romelu those occasions will reappear in dreamswhen there is no turning back. His outburst of anger after the match will also remain as a summary of the match: Belgium lost the opportunity for qualification, as they deserved for what they did against Croatia. But goals must be scored, there is no other truth in the World Cup.

Doha, Qatar. Special delivery.

Source: Clarin

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