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Charles escalante

Devan Messer

Jesus Ramirez

Frank Maldonado

Josh Basurto

“Inside The Area” Podcast

Charles Escalante (@CHARLESESCA)

Frank Maldonado (@FRANKELTANK33)

Chuy Ramirez (@NOFUEPENALL)

Devan Messer (@HEAVIERTHNDEVAN)

Mertens, Lukaku Score in Belgiums 3-0 Victory #BEL #PAN #WORLDCUP

We've been blessed with some very close matches thus far in the first round of group matches.

And for 47 minutes, this was one of them.

Panama played a fast, physical and aggressive first half that had Belgium looking out of sorts at times. Their defense held strong, forcing mistakes and disrupted shots, but eventually, Belgium returned to their true form. Just minutes after the start of the second half, Dries Mertens sent a perfectly struck volley from 18 yards out and over goalkeeper Penedo's reach to bring it 1-0

Lukaku Scores twice in Belgiums 3-0 rout of Panama.

Lukaku Scores twice in Belgiums 3-0 rout of Panama.

Lukaku struck first in the 69th minute with a gorgeous header in front of goal, fed by a pass from Kevin De Bruyne. 

Just 6 minutes later, Lukaku followed up with a second goal, chipping Penedo coming off his line on a breakaway.

Panama did what they could against an obviously stacked opponent, but there is one thing the Central Americans certainly did not lack: Heart. The playing of the Panamanian national anthem had players and fans alike in tears. Roars from their fans could be heard throughout the entire match, climaxing during Panama's attacks. Players stayed on pitch long after the final whistle to show respect to their countrymen. 

The Central Americans have another uphill match against England on Sunday. They must put at least a point on the table if they hope to have purpose in their final match against Tunisia on the following Thursday.

The Red Devils are making sure everyone knows they are a force to be reckoned with this summer. They were slow starters today, but eventually found their flow and outplayed a very gritty Panama side. They play Tunisia on Saturday, and face off with England the following Thursday in a match which will most likely decide the top spot in Group G.

A look ahead at Poland vs Senegal #POL #SEN

Upcoming match, #BEL #PAN