Belgium were made to wait for their first goal of the 2018 World Cup, but what a strike it was.
Having laboured in a goalless first half against Panama, the pressure was on Roberto Martinez’s side to find a breakthrough early in the second half. Fortunately for the Red Devils, said breakthrough came with less than two minutes on the clock after the restart.
After another unsuccessful attempt to find Romelu Lukaku in the box, the ball was headed around the Panama box before falling into the range of Dries Mertens. Without even needing to take a touch, the Napoli forward leaned back before unleashing a fantastic dipping volley that nestled neatly in the opposition net.
Sensational goal from Mertens,
For Panama it’s surely curtains.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 18, 2018
DRIES F-ING MERTENS!
Technique > power.
— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) June 18, 2018
Dries Mertens had no right to score that goal
— Zito (@_Zeets) June 18, 2018
In an opening week that has seen some fantastic goals already, Mertens’ effort is up there with the best.
After a nervy first half, the goal will have allowed Belgium to relax a bit and play a bit more to strengths as they go in search of a second that will likely kill the game as a contest. At the time of writing, it remains 1-0.