Panama falls to Belgium in country's World Cup debut

Panama falls to Belgium in country's World Cup debut

Panama falls to Belgium in country's World Cup debut

Earlier in the day, Sweden beat Korea Republic 1-0, thanks to a 67th minute penalty from captain Andreas Granqvist. Lingard may only have one worldwide goal to his name, but he has a reputation for scoring in big games for United, having notched in both the Community Shield and FA Cup final.

A moment of magic from Mertens finally unshackled Belgium, his show-stopping volley two minutes into the second period easing the nerves.

"There are alternatives to try and change that situation to try and score more goals". He's also been known to visit patients in hospital after matches.

The 55th-ranked Panama drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland and lost 1-0 to Norway in its final warm-up matches before traveling to Russian Federation.

The VAR. Again. While it got a decision right in the night's first game which led to Sweden's winning goal, it also spectacularly failed to spot Tunisian penalty area interference on Kane that wouldn't have looked out of place in a WWE bout.

South Korea reached the semifinals at home in 2002 and the last 16 in 2010. It would be a pretty tough watch at any time, let alone midnight when you're already sleep-deprived.

If Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Deli Ali click against Tunisia, English fans may have reasons to start getting their hopes up once again, but they should also be wary of a Tunisian team just one place below them in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings.

Former England striker Gary Lineker: "Come on VAR, this is a joke".

Back to England, and perhaps the most important man after Kane in Gareth Southgate's side is Jesse Lingard.

"Fortunately it didn't happen what everybody thought it would happen, which was for us to lose by six or seven goals", Panama coach Hernan Gomez said.

Belgium sense that this is their time, the golden generation know that this is their unique opportunity to win the nation's first World Cup. "I mean, the distance between Iceland and Argentina isn't as significant as the distance between Belgium and Panama". It's remarkable that of the 13 European teams to have played so far in Russian Federation 2018, only one (Germany!) has lost. "It's a source of great pride for us that their sons are showcasing Belgium to the world as an inclusive and dynamic country". What were the other 0.4% watching? "Nobody likes losing. Some people may say that three goals is a lot, but honestly, three goals against the team we played against today, taking into consideration our experience, this was a normal result, or even abnormal if you consider that it should have been worse".

Colombia start the day's action against Japan at midnight (NZT), followed by Poland's clash with Senegal at 3am.

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