Hazard: I Told Romelu Lukaku To Stop 'Hiding' vs. Panama

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has been in sparking form

And Martinez said he was impressed by what he saw from Gareth Southgate's side. "We started really well in the first 10 or 15 minutes and then Panama became very effective with their defensive structure and we got a little frustrated. It was a good performance by the team, but we can all do better".

After struggling to find the net before halftime, Belgium needed only two minutes to open the scoring in the second half as Dries Mertens struck home with a superb volley.

"We just talked normally and we won the game in the end so it was fine". We need to be very aware in every game that if you don't score you must be prepared to work hard and to go through periods where your opponents test you.

Hazard has not taken back what he said, but rather has clarified the situation, explaining that there is no problem or anger between the two players.

Belgium also avoided the fate of Spain, Argentina, Germany and Brazil, which stumbled and dropped points in their openers.

Hazard will lead his team out again in their second Group G game against Tunisia at the Spartak Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The expectation has been by the time Belgium gets to Kaliningrad for its group stage finale against England, it will likely just be playing for seeding in the knockout stage. "Of course, we want to demand from each other, and that's natural, what happens in a dressing room". "The way we play is the attitude of our team".

"Even though we have good players, it is not easy for us to play with a man short".

Narrowly qualifying for a first finals under Colombian coach Hernan Dario Gomez, Panama were thumped 6-0 by Switzerland in their pre-tournament build-up while Belgium disposed of much more fancied Central Americans Costa Rica 4-0 last week before travelling. We want to improve, we need to improve. I think the players are ready to be flexible.

Latest News