Star Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku took his frustrations out on the plastic wall of the Red Devils’ dugout after the world No. 2 was eliminated from the World Cup with a 0-0 draw against Croatia.
Belgium needed a win to progress from Group F having won their opening encounter against Canada, but lost their second game against Morocco 2-0.
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Despite a nervy start in which Croatia had a good chance within 10 seconds from kick-off, Roberto Martinez’s side grew into the game.
Inter Milan star Lukaku was thrust into the action at half-time, coming on for Dries Mertens who fired wide inside the box in what was Belgium’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
But Lukaku, who has scored 68 goals in 103 appearances for Belgium, failed to bring his shooting boots with him to Qatar as he missed a whopping three gilt-edged chances to win the game.
The first arrived in the 60th minute when Lukaku’s run had made space for winger Yannick Carrasco to drive into the box and have a crack at goal, but his shot was saved by Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
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The rebound fell kindly to Lukaku, but his effort from seven yards smacked against the post and away to safety.
27 minutes elapsed before the 29-year-old had another golden chance on goal, but when it was his moment to shine once again, Lukaku fluffed his lines.
A headed Croatian clearance failed to clear the area and landed at the feet of Belgian right-back Thomas Meunier, who fired a cross at Lukaku.
But the ball smashed off his right leg and flew wide of the same post he had smacked barely 30 minutes earlier.
It could be said that he had little time to react due to the sheer pace on Meunier’s cross but from inside the six-yard box, it seemed easier to score than miss.
Yet Lukaku’s living nightmare was not done just yet.
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With one minute left on the clock in normal time, Thorgan Hazard lofted a cross from just inside the right side of the box to Lukaku, who was lurking at the back post and had found space to himself behind Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.
But he again missed, this time from barely one metre out from goal, as the ball smacked off his stomach and into the grateful hands of Livakovic.
Belgium failed to muster up any further similar chances, as Croatia ultimately held on for a 0-0 draw to secure a spot in the Round of 16.
As for Lukaku, he cut a devastated figure and needed to be consoled by Belgium assistant and all-time football legend Thierry Henry.
Yet his frustration boiled over after the game when he punched the side of the dugout, shattering the plastic.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to Lukaku’s disasterclass was not kind to him.