Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens lead Belgium to 3-0 win against Panama

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku

England, winners on football's biggest stage more than half a century ago, crashed out without a win four years ago in Brazil, and haven't won a knock-out match in any tournament since 2006.

Both nations had their best performances on home soil but Russian Federation is only next-door-but-one as it borders neighbours Norway and North Korea - perhaps this will be their year?

Even though neither player will be fit for the opening game, Belgium made a decision to send standby defender Laurent Ciman home on Saturday.

"We have a good team, a great selection", Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld said. "I am not expecting an easy game", he said. "Panama had one or two counter-attacks; you know you have to defend well when that happens", the head coach explained.

Eden Hazard hit the side netting after pouncing on a loose backpass from Roman Torres, Panama's captain making amends with a terrific touch on a low De Bruyne right-wing cross that ensured Lukaku could not tap in at the back post.

Jun 18, 2018; Volgograd, Russia; English forward Harry Kane celebrates after he scores his second goal of the match, allowing England to beat Tunisia 2-1 in stoppage time.

All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life. All going to plan for these sides, first place will be up for grabs. But I don't think they have the quality we have.

That means Kompany would also sit out Belgium's game against Tunisia next weekend, but would be back for their potentially crucial last group encounter against England in Kaliningrad on 28 June.

U.S. invokes Bible to justify harsh immigration steps separating children from parents
The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse. Sanders stonewalled the question and continued to blame the Democrats - as has President Trump - for the fiasco.

Gal Gadot shares new shot from Wonder Woman sequel
Promotional material for Wonder Woman 2 is beginning to trickle out, and every piece of it is only making us more excited. Gal Gadot released the first image of herself in the Wonder Woman outfit on the set of Wonder Woman 1984 today on Twitter.

Golovkin vs. Canelo rematch happening
There is no fight ", De La Hoya told ESPN shortly after the deadline passed. "This is the fight Gennady wanted", Loeffler said. De La Hoya eventually increased Golovkin's share to 40 percent, but GGG continued to stand firm on parity. "No fight.

The Belgium worldwide has shown just how far he's come. The match started and the team felt all these emotions.

Sweden beat France in qualifying and finished ahead of the Netherlands who failed to make it to Russian Federation.

The Swedes proved their solid organisation in the play-off win against Italy, frustrating the Azzurri.

Sweden also got their campaign off to a winning start, beating South Korea 1-0 by way of a penalty awarded by the VAR.

They will need to summon the spirit of their 2002 home heroics in order to extricate themselves from what is arguably 2018's toughest group.

"Fortunately it didn't happen what everybody thought it would happen, which was for us to lose by six or seven goals", Panama coach Hernan Gomez said. The pre-World Cup was good and I had some good games in the friendlies. He plays at Celtic and has enough experience.

After a goalless first half, Belgium ranked third in the world, finally broke Panama's resistance when Dries Mertens steered in a spectacular volley.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Four people wounded in Malmö shooting
Jun 19, 2018 - 15:23
The man reportedly fired an automatic weapon at the crowd, who were celebrating Sweden's 1-0 victory against Korea, this evening. Feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory have become more common in major Swedish cities in recent years.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Focus on Harry Kane - England's captain and match-winner
Jun 19, 2018 - 15:07
Kyle Walker gave away a soft penalty but Harry Kane's late header meant England win 2-1 against Tunisia . England players celebrate in wild scenes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top England's Phil Jones says squad can not wait for opening World Cup game
Jun 19, 2018 - 14:58
The Three Lions are set to kick off their World Cup campaign in a highly anticipated match against Tunisia. Whatever Southgate decides, that trident will be primed to sow confusion among the Tunisian ranks.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Five first ladies speak out on family separations at border
Jun 19, 2018 - 14:57
People seeking asylum in the US , she said, should go to official ports of entry instead of crossing the border illegally. She said immigrants will continue to seek asylum unless their home countries see major change.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top United States will not be a migrant camp: Trump on family separation row
Jun 19, 2018 - 14:42
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters during a tour of San Diego immigration detention facilities with Rep. Since April, the Department of Homeland Security has separated about 2,000 children from their parents at the border.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mexico's World Cup victor against Germany causes 'artificial quake' in Mexico City
Jun 18, 2018 - 02:05
And German legend Michael Ballack posted a concerning tweet after the game, highlighting just how big of a deal the loss could be. In addition to the full-backs being caught too far forward, Mexico were able to draw the German midfield too far forward.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ‘Messi is only human, the penalty miss affected him’
Jun 18, 2018 - 01:36
Today's result could potentially hamper their momentum as the team are looking to go all the way in the tournament. The Argentinean star missed another spot-kick, this time one which denied Argentina a win over Iceland .

Phil Mickelson loses mind, plays putt before it stops rolling
Jun 18, 2018 - 01:25
I wanted to get to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time without the two shots. Mickelson insisted he was not frustrated by the more hard hole locations in the third round.

Taxi drives into crowd of people in central Moscow, eight injured
Jun 17, 2018 - 03:12
An ambulance is parked near a damaged taxi, which ran into crowds of people in central Moscow , Russia June 16, 2018. Russian Federation is hosting the World Cup and the capital's streets have been crowded with foreign visitors.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sarah Sanders pushes back on reports of her departure
Jun 17, 2018 - 03:02
Yes, they would, and that's actually what Kathryn Tenpas from Brookings Institute pointed out in this CBS report. Sanders marveled in Thursday's press briefing that the network's reporter never reached out to ask her.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Again Falsely Blames Democrats for His Separation Policy
Jun 17, 2018 - 02:18
The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse. Only the compromise measure offers a chance at citizenship for young immigrants who arrived in the USA illegally as children.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China Declares Trade War Launched After Trump Unveils $50B Tariffs
Jun 17, 2018 - 02:10
China will "immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and the same strength", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said. But Trump's China trade offensive is only one side of his multi-front confrontation with all major U.S. economic partners.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Our man reveals England reaction to Ronaldo heroics as training steps up
Jun 17, 2018 - 02:04
If a World Cup cannot inspire a nation, then I'm not sure what can", said the English FA technical director Dan Ashworth. But a chat with the player saw a greatly improved performance against the Central Americans.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sanders says watchdog report 'reaffirmed the President's suspicions' of Comey
Jun 17, 2018 - 01:45
Trump distanced himself from his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose bail was revoked by a federal judge on Friday. Trump, who also appeared on Fox News on Friday, called Comey "the ringleader of this whole, you know, den of thieves".

Phil Mickelson to critics after U.S. Open penalty: 'Toughen up'
Jun 17, 2018 - 00:54
He said he knew the ball was going to roll off the green, which is why he chose to hit it while it was still moving. Instead of letting his ball come to rest, Mickelson smacked it back toward the hole, taking a two-stroke penalty.