December 1st 2022
Romelu Lukaku took his anger out on a dugout window after Belgium crashed out of the World Cup in Qatar.
The Chelsea striker, currently on loan at Inter Milan, missed several chances as Belgium were held to a goalless draw by Croatia in their final group game.
The result ensures Belgium – who came third in Russia four years ago – finish third in Group F and exit the World Cup before the knockout stages.
Belgium secured a narrow win over Canada in their first game of the World Cup before suffering a shock defeat to Morocco.
Roberto Martinez’s side, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, produced another lacklustre display against Croatia when a win would have sent them through to the last 16.
Lukaku, who struggled last season following a £97.5m move to Stamford Bridge, missed numerous chances to send his country through after coming on as a half-time substitute.
Chelsea’s record signing struck the post, headed over, poked wide and reacted too late when presented with virtually an open goal in stoppage time.
Lukaku broke down in tears after the final whistle and was consoled by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who is part of Martinez’s coaching team in Qatar.
But the striker’s sorrow soon turned to anger as he punched a dugout window on his way back to the dressing room, dislodging a piece of glass in the process.
While Belgium are heading home, 2018 runners-up Croatia secured the point they needed to progress as Group F runners-up, as Morocco sealed top spot with a 2-1 win over Canada.
Belgium boss Martinez, who later confirmed he was resigning, said: ‘It’s not easy to win games in the World Cup. We weren’t ourselves in first game we had a deserved defeat in second game.
‘Today we were ready, we created opportunities and today there is no regrets. We’re out but we can leave with our heads held high.
‘We wanted to get through but I’m sure the other national teams wanted to get through and that’s the tournament.
‘In the previous World Cup we won three games in the group stage, we wanted to go all the way.’
Assessing Belgium’s performance at the World Cup, former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas said: ‘Belgium’s campaign as a whole hasn’t been good enough.
‘They threw everything at it in the end but the experience of this Croatia side just about got them over the line.
‘Distraught players in that Belgium side but when they look at themselves in the mirror they’ll realise it just was not good enough and that it why they’re out.’
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