Belgium to miss Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen in opening game against Panama

Belgium to miss Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen in opening game against Panama

Not much was known on European shores about Panama's style of play when they confirmed their place in Russian Federation, although three wins in ten qualification matches suggest they are hardly a free-flowing side.

Their coach Hernan Dario Gomez described Belgium as having "the best players in the world, except for Messi and Cristiano". "There wasn't much gold on show against Panama'", wrote Hugo Camps in Het Laatste Nieuws, one of many commentators less than convinced by a scoreless first half and holes at the back that England and Tunisia will hope to better exploit.

"We will just have to do without them", he told a news conference at the team's hotel in the Russian capital on Friday.

"Fairly annoying, but it's the same for both teams so you've got to get on with it", Young said.

"If you weren't with me when I had nothing, then you can't really understand me", he said.

GETTY Romelu Lukaku has opened up on his journey to the World Cup with Belgium "People in football love to talk about mental strength".

More news: All five living first ladies condemn United States separation policy

Earlier, Dries Mertens volleyed home a belting opening goal for the Belgians, followed by his traditional celebration where he forms a heart with his hands to symbolise his support of numerous charities, from the homeless community where he plays in Naples to the local dog shelter. "But at the end of the game, we won 3-0, so we have to be happy", Hazard continued.

Even the veteran Colombian coach felt the emotions that came with Panama's World Cup debut. It was a very emotional day. This is Tunisia's first World Cup match in 12 years but it is still a storied team. It's hard to overcome that. "Many people are going to cry".

"It was very moving to be able to sing the national anthem and represent our country", Panama captain Roman Torres said. "We are determined to go down in history".

Belgium's results under Martinez have been excellent, with last Monday's 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica in Brussels meaning they are unbeaten in 19 matches going back nearly two years, to the very start of the Spaniard's reign.

Zeroes are added and deducted from the price tag of various players throughout the World Cup, we'll be checking out who's hot and who's not in the BuzzSport World Cup shop window.

We've seen plenty of late winners in this tournament so far, but perhaps none more surprising than Harry Kane's against Tunisia, if only because of how long it's been since anything went right for England at a World Cup.

Related Articles