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Brilliant Belgium thrash Costa Rica


Costa Rica’s Marco Urena (left) attempts a shot on goal as Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne (2nd right) tries to defend during the International Friendly at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels. – AP/PTI
 BRUSSELS, June 12: A powerful brace from Romelu Lukaku and a glittering performance from Eden Hazard saw Belgium beat Costa Rica 4-1 in Brussels in their final World Cup warm up on Monday.But Belgium fans would have watched in horror as Hazard, showing great form lately, limped off in the 70th minute.

His team-mates later dispelled any fears of lasting damage to the diminutive Chelsea forward.

“I’m not too worried about Eden, he’s a tough guy. He gets kicked all the time, but soon gets over it,” said Lukaku after the game.

Coach Roberto Martinez’s multi-talented Red Devils were just too much for Costa Rica, who opened brightly and even took the lead through Brian Ruiz with a slick finish after some early pressure from the visitors.

But the side that beat Egypt 3-0 last week, with a world-class Hazard pulling the strings, was 2-1 up by half-time thanks to finishes from Dries Mertens and Lukaku.

The giant Manchester United target man got his second with a powerful header after running into space with great speed.

He then set up strike partner Michy Batshuayi for the fourth and the pair did a little dance to celebrate.

Belgium’s Group G rivals from the World Cup would have been warned, with unpleasant viewing for England, Panama and Tunisia. – AFP

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