Qatar 2022, mistakes and tears: Lukaku’s World Cup to forget

The punch to the glass of the bench at the end of the match is the photograph of a failure

The punch to the glass of the bench at the end of the match, the tears. Thus can be summed up the anger and bitterness of Romelu Lukakustriker of Inter and of Belgiumafter the sensational elimination in the group stage of Qatar 2022 with the ‘red devils’ finishing third in group F behind Morocco and Croatia after a 0-0 draw against the vice-champions of the world.

A match full of regrets for ‘Big Rom’ against Croatia, the 29-year-old was thrown into the fray by coach Roberto Martinez early in the second half to break the deadlock in the first-half match which had seen the Belgians squander several scoring chances. And with Lukaku the script hasn’t changed, highlighting too many mistakes in front of goal: the first a header blocked by the goalkeeper, in the 60th minute a post hit from a good position; the sensational mistake shortly after on a cross by De Bruyne with a header, and in the 90th minute the incredible deflection to the side with an awkward control in the small area.

Lukaku closes the World Cup with 0 goals with Belgium leaving the competition, after third place in Russia 2018, with many regrets: the limited success with Canada was useless, the 2-0 defeat against Morocco was decisive. ‘Big Rom’, 104 appearances and 68 goals scored for the national team, will now seek redemption in the league with Inter after a start plagued by physical problems, so far Lukaku has collected 4 appearances and only one goal.