Eden Hazard gave Belgium an injury scare ahead of the World Cup as he limped off in their 4-1 warm-up win over Costa Rica, in which Romelu Lukaku scored twice and set up a third.
By SportBrief Reporter
Dries Mertens equalised for Belgium after Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring before striker Lukaku took his international tally to 36 in 69 matches with a volley and header either side of half-time.
Lukaku set up substitute Michy Batshuayi to complete the scoring for Belgium on 64 minutes as Roberto Martinez’s side fired a final warning to Group G opponents England, Tunisia and Panama.
A positive final World Cup warm-up threatened to end on a sour note as Eden Hazard limped off with 20 minutes remaining following a couple of robust Costa Rican challenges, although the Chelsea forward did not appear too badly hurt.
Belgium had created some early chances but it was the visitors who took a 24th-minute lead. Jan Vertonghen failed to get proper distance on a headed clearance and it fell to Ruiz, who sent a low first-time effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The Red Devils’ response was swift, though, and after Mertens had gone close he finally levelled just after the half-hour. This time it was Costa Rica that failed to clear properly and Hazard’s ball across goal was tucked home from close range.
The turnaround was complete before half-time as Lukaku scored a brilliant goal. Starting the move in his own half, the Manchester United forward fed Kevin De Bryune, who set Mertens free and he turned provider for Lukaku to volley home from close range.
Lukaku’s second came five minutes after the restart and it was classic Lukaku as he made sure he got on the end of Hazard’s cross to convert with his head.
The United man then turned provider in the 64th minute as his low ball was converted at the back post by Chelsea’s Batshuayi.
That proved to be enough for Martinez’s men as they signed off ahead of their World Cup opener with Panama next Monday, with all eyes on the severity of Hazard’s injury.