FIFA World Cup 2018: Romelu Lukaku's sparkler lights up Belgium

Jun 13, 2018, 08:46 IST | PA Sport

Brace by striker gives Roberto Martinez's men a perfect warm-up with 4-1 win over Costa Rica; fires warning to opponents before heading to Russia

FIFA World Cup 2018: Romelu Lukaku's sparkler lights up Belgium
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (left) scores against Costa Rica during a friendly at Brussels on Monday. Belgium won 4-1. Pic/AFP

Romelu Lukaku's brace gave England something to think about as Belgium warmed up for the World Cup with a 4-1 win over Costa Rica on Monday. Lukaku is finding some form ahead of the tournament in Russia which pits the Red Devils with England in Group 'G', scoring in Brussels after netting against Egypt last week.

That took his tally to 13 goals in the last nine international games, as he also provided an assist, and will be Belgium's main threat in what should be the group decider against Gareth Southgate's side on June 28. Dries Mertens and Michy Batshuayi also scored for Roberto Martinez's men after Bryan Ruiz had put Costa Rica ahead. Belgium had created some early chances but it was the visitors who took a 24th minute lead.

 Lukaku (left) celebrates a goal with teammate Dries Mertens
Lukaku (left) celebrates a goal with teammate Dries Mertens

Jan Vertonghen failed to get proper distance on a headed clearance and it fell to Ruiz, who sent a low first-time effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. The Red Devils' response was swift, and Mertens had gone close he finally levelled just after the half-hour. This time it was Costa Rica that failed to clear properly and Eden Hazard's ball across goal was tucked home from close range.

The turnaround was complete before half-time as Lukaku scored a brilliant goal. Lukaku's second came five minutes after the restart and it was classic Lukaku as he made sure he got on the end of Hazard's cross to convert with his head. The United man then turned provider in the 64th minute as his low ball was converted at the back post by Chelsea's Batshuayi.

13
No. of goals Romelu Lukaku has scored in the last nine games for Belgium

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