Romelu Lukaku strikes a frustrated figure after averting clear chances against Croatia

Romelu Lukaku endured a torrid time in the match against Croatia, spurning clear chances as Belgium were held 0-0 and exiting the tournament itself from the group stage.

After the match, the striker made a haunted figure as he vented his frustrations on the Plexiglas window of his team’s dugout. He was also caught on camera crying and was comforted by assistant manager Thierry Henry.

For Lukaku’s first missed chance, Carrasco charged through on goal before his path was blocked and the ball made its way to Lukaku who somehow hit the post with the goal gaping. He then inexplicably headed over from close range, although replays showed that De Bruyne had probably taken the ball out of play before crossing.

Lukaku missed two chances from close range in the closing minutes, firing Thomas Meunier’s sharp shot wide and then watching in bewilderment as the ball bounced into his midriff with the goal at his mercy before bobbing harmlessly towards the keeper.

Croatia, who next play the winners of Group E, finished with five points, two behind Morocco, who beat already-eliminated Canada 2-1 to top the table. Belgium finished third with four points after winning only one of their three games.

Much attention has been paid to Belgium’s ‘golden generation’, a collection of prodigious talents from the biggest clubs, who have been favorites in international tournaments for almost a decade.

Yet they have never tasted glory and with the biggest lights such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne already over 30 they are unlikely to get another chance at the World Cup.

(With Reuters entry)

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