Goalless draw sends Croatia to next stage, Belgium exit Qatar 2022
Croatia on Thursday drew with Belgium 0-0 in Group F but reached the Round of 16 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Third-place Belgium, who were the 2018 World Cup bronze medalists, have been eliminated from Qatar 2022.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez stepped down from his post after the elimination.
“This was my last game as national coach,” Spanish coach said and added: “I don’t resign. It’s the end of my contract.”
Croatia are waiting for their opponents in the upcoming stage.
Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Perisic had a scoring chance in the first seconds of the game but failed at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Dries Mertens wasted a chance for Belgium by shooting wide in one on one in the 13th minute of the game.
Yannick Carrasco’s challenge on Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric in the 15th minute was first given a penalty but after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review, it was ruled out due to an offside.
Croatia veteran Luka Modric was ruled offside by the VAR in a promising position in the 29th minute.
Several Belgium attempts were deflected by the Croatian defense and the first half ended goalless.
In the second half, Modric and Marcelo Brozovic’s attempts at Belgium’s net were denied by Courtois.
Romelu Lukaku, who got into the game in the second half, placed a promising header into Dominik Livakovic’s hands in the 49th minute.
Lukaku missed another chance when his shot to empty goal got out from the right post in the 60th minute, then, two minutes later, his header was inches over the opposition goal.
Lukaku could not finish another chance for Belgium in the six-yard box in the 90th minute.
Belgium’s several promising goal chances were denied by Croatia’s defense and goalie, and the game ended with 0-0 draw.