Croatia vs Belgium: Croatia qualifies to the round of 16 and Belgium is eliminated from the World Cup.
Following a terrible 0-0 draw against Croatia on Thursday, Belgium was eliminated from the World Cup.
To go past the group stage, Roberto Martinez’s team needed to defeat the World Cup champions, but they were unable to score.
Romelu Lukaku entered the game when the captain Eden Hazard was benched, and he missed four significant opportunities as Belgium’s disastrous World Cup run came to an end.
Croatia advances to the round of 16, but only after finishing in second place in the group behind Morocco, which defeated Canada 2-1 to take first position.
Martinez told BBC after the victory, “Winning games in the World Cup is not simple. We weren’t ourselves in the first game, and we suffered a well-deserved loss in the second.
“Today there are no regrets because we were prepared and opportunities were created. We’re done, but we can walk away with pride.
Ivan Perisic’s attempt went over the crossbar in the first 20 seconds as Croatia took control from the opening whistle.
After Yannick Carrasco was found to have fouled Andrej Kramaric inside the penalty area less than a minute later, Croatia was given a penalty.
Referee Anthony Taylor was called to the monitor by the VAR as Luka Modric lined up to take the penalty kick, and the call was reversed for an offside committed throughout the buildup.
It was a tense game for the remainder of the first half, but after the break, the action picked up.
Thibaut Courtois of Belgium, who was first called upon to play goalie, stopped Croatia three times.
When Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku entered the game in the second half, he promptly squandered two excellent opportunities.
After the hour mark, Lukaku was the first to react to a rebound and managed to hit the post while the goalie was out of position.
The goal was then at the striker’s disposal when he headed another easy attempt over the bar.
Lukaku’s night was not good; he continued to miss two additional clear goals as Croatia held off late attempts from Belgium.