Croatia reaches World Cup last 16, sends Belgium’s golden generation home


Doha, Qatar — belgium A place in the last 16 was a must win, and with qualification on the line, Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez made some big calls to his starting lineup. they removed the captain Eden Hazard and chose not to start Romelu Lukaku,

For CroatiaA draw was enough so it was about managing the game in the best possible way. They thought they were awarded a penalty before VAR intervened for offside and gave their opponents only one chance in the first half.

Martínez sent on Lukaku at half-time with a mission to change the game and get his team qualified. He could have done it and should have done it, but missed two big chances. This was not Lukaku’s World Cup or Belgium’s.

– World Cup 2022: News and Features , Schedule , squads

Swift response

1. What’s next for the golden generation?

This was supposed to be their last dance! This World Cup in Doha was the last time they came together as a group after ten years in all major competitions and finally tried to win a trophy. However things turned sour. It has been a terrific tournament on and off the pitch. Belgium have shown a terrible image of themselves with poor performances, collectively and individually, accompanied by tension, controversy and negative headlines.

The future of Roberto Martinez, who is out of contract, seems far away from Brussels. jan vertonghen And dris mertens 35 years old and this will be the end of him and probably 33 year olds too Toby Alderweireld And axel witsel,

Captain Eden Hazard has gone through this World Cup like a ghost and even though he is only 31, he may be thinking long back about his international future. It is a sad end to what has been a wonderful story for many years but now is the time to start rebuilding. The process should have started a while ago, but Martinez remains fiercely loyal to his Golden Generation. And he had to bear the brunt of it in this tournament.

2. Bold calls don’t pay off for Martinez

Did he think he had to change something in order to create an electric shock and wake up his players? Was he very daring in the selection of his team? Yet, Roberto Martinez got it wrong. His decisions didn’t pay off and Belgium crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage which is a shame.

decide to start leandro trossard False 9 did not have the expected effect. He was nimble but weighed down the Croatian defence. Martinez’s idea was to play a 3-4-2-1 with the ball Yannick Carrasco stay wide on the left and thomas meunier to the right and then Kevin De Bruyne And Dries Mertens was in charge of the creativity part. The front three never quite worked except for a brilliant ball from KDB which was wasted by Mertens.

Without the ball, the formation became a 4–4–2 which was unbalanced as De Bruyne did not defend on the right. Once again, as in the previous two matches, the Belgian head coach made a few substitutions at half-time. Lukaku came on and had a chance to score before hitting the post on the hour mark. He clearly changed the game and so far in this World Cup has given Belgium a greater threat than ever. De Bruyne also moved forward in the game and created many chances.

However, this was not enough. Martinez was uninspired on Thursday, as he has been throughout the tournament, and this humiliating elimination so soon took a toll on him.

3. Croatia in control despite last scare

In this World Cup, if there is any team that knows how to manage the game, it is Croatia. A draw was enough for them to qualify for the last 16 and even though they created some good chances, they were clearly very happy to control the 0-0 and get the points they needed. They suffered a bit at the start of the second half when Lukaku came on and hit the post, and especially in the last minute when he should have scored.

However, their amazing midfield three luka modric, Marcelo Brozovic And Mateo Kovacic Control is the master of games. It was perfect on when to press, how to press, when to slow down, when to speed up. He took the time when he needed it, fouled at the right time and took a while to take the free kick. Given that this team lacks a top striker (Kramic, Petkovic or Livaja are not in that category), it was probably the best they could do.

Player Rating (1 = worst, 10 = best)

Croatia: dominik livkovich 4, josip juranovic 5, dejan lauren 5, josco guardiol 6, borna sosa 6, Luka Modric 7, Marcelo Brozovic 7, Mateo Kovacic 6, Lady Kramrick 4, marco livaza 3, Ivan Perisic 5

later stages, bruno petkovich 4, mario pasalik 4, lovro major 4

Belgium: thibaut courtois 7, Thomas Meunier 4, Toby Alderweireld 6, Jan Vertonghen 6, timothy castagne 5, leander dendonker 4, Axel Witsel 3, Yannick Carrasco 4, Kevin de Bruyne 6, Dries Mertens 3, Leandro Trossard 3,

sub: eden hazard 4, jeremy doku 5, Thorgan Hazard 4, Romelu Lukaku 3, Yuri Tielemans 4,

best and worst performers

Best: Marcelo Brozovic, Croatia

It could have been Luka Modric but Brozovic dominated midfield. He was excellent with his game management, had 98 touches, saved a fine shot by Courtois and made eight passes in the final third. His football IQ is so high that it is an absolute pleasure to watch such games.

Bad: Leandro Trossard, Belgium

He wanted to start and felt he was entitled to start. He had his chance today and showed absolutely nothing. He didn’t create anything, didn’t pose any threat, didn’t affect the game at all. It was so easy to defend against him and he was so poor that Martinez took him off just before the hour.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Thierry Henry consoles a heartbroken Romelu Lukaku after the match.

After the match: What the players and managers said

Quotes to come…

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)

– Romelu Lukaku (BEL): 1.67 expected goal (XG) against Croatia today; Highest number of any player in 2022 World Cup


Croatia: As the second-place finisher from Group F, Croatia will play the first-place finisher from Group E.

Belgium: With this defeat, Belgium is out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Source link