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Belgium is out of the World Cup following a scoreless tie with Croatia: World Cup results

Synopsis: Belgium is eliminated from the World Cup following a goalless draw with Croatia.
Croatia and Morocco move to the last 16 after a stalemate in Group F.

Belgium Croatia
The draw kept the Red Devils in third place in Group F. [Reuters/Piroschka Van De Wouw]

Belgium is out of the World Cup following a scoreless tie with Croatia: World Cup results

Belgium was eliminated from the World Cup after a 0-0 tie with Croatia, bringing an end to the country’s so-called “Golden Generation” of talents.

Coach Roberto Martinez‘s team, ranked second in the world by FIFA, struggled to create any rhythm in Thursday’s match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, and their desperate second-half efforts to break the deadlock ultimately failed.

In a dull first half, neither side had a shot on goal, and Belgium introduced striker Romelu Lukaku at the break, but it was Croatia who sprang to life, with Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric drawing saves from Thibaut Courtois in quick succession.

On the hour mark, Lukaku smacked the post with a ferocious close-range attempt as Belgium fought hard for the winning goal.

He went on to waste several more goalmouth chances as the clock approached full-time, demonstrating a lack of match sharpness following a lengthy period out with injury.

Luka Modric of Croatia celebrates qualifying for the last 16 with his teammates against Belgium. [Reuters/John Sibley]

The stalemate left the Red Devils in third position in Group F, with Croatia one spot ahead of them and Morocco finishing first after a 2-1 win over Canada.

On Monday, the 2018 runners-up will face the winner of Group E, which could be Spain, Japan, or Costa Rica.

Morocco, who have reached the knockout stages for the first time since 1986, will face the winners of Group E, which also includes four-time champions Germany, the next day.

Croatia’s defender Dejan Lovren and midfielder Luka Modric cheer after a win.

‘Golden generation’s disappointing conclusion

Belgium’s “Golden Generation,” which already includes six players with more than 100 appearances, is set to disband, with a World Cup semifinal performance in 2018 serving as its pinnacle.

Unlike their outstanding performance in Russia four years ago, the Red Devils only managed one goal in this year’s competition, a 1-0 win over Canada.

Martinez dropped captain Eden Hazard to the bench as one of four changes to the lineup on Thursday, which also included Leandro Trossard and Dries Mertens starting for the first time in Qatar.

However, the build-up to the match was marred by rumours of infighting among senior players during the tournament, which Martinez dismissed as “fake news.”

The 49-year-old, who has been in charge for more than six years, was asked after the game if he will remain as coach in the wake of his side’s forgetful campaign.

“Now, is not the moment [to discuss that],” he answered.

Croatia vs Belgium 0-0: World Cup 2022 (The last 10 minutes)

Mateo Kovacic competes with Kevin De Bruyne for possession. [Francois Nel/Getty Images]

Full-time: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Belgium had numerous chances to win the game, but the game ended in a stalemate. Lukaku appeared to be in tears after missing many great opportunities, but Croatia held on to win.

Zlatko Dalic’s team played a hazardous game, holding on for a draw and finishing second in Group F, but they advanced to the round of 16.

Gvardiol last ditch tackle

Lukaku looks like he’s got a huge opportunity in the box, but the Croatian defender slides to intervene at the last moment. Massive tackle.

90+3 mins: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Massive Lukaku chance

He really has to put this away. Thorgan Hazard sends a high ball across the area that the keeper misses. At the back post, Romelu Lukaku has an open goal, but the ball bounces off his chest and into the arms of Dominik Livakovi.

Four minutes were added.

91 mins: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Lukaku flicks wide

It comes at him quickly and there’s not much more he can do, but the flick he gets on Meunier’s ball goes wide.

88 mins: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Gvardiol fires ball at Livaković

The defender catches a long ball over his head and it flies into his own goal. Fortunately, it’s straight at his keeper, who collects, with the referee ruling it wasn’t a back pass.

85 mins: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Croatia wasting time

They appear content to play for the draw and advance as the second-placed team in this group. But it might go ugly for them if Belgium scores, since they will be eliminated.

On their right flank, Josip Juranovi goes on the overlap, but his cut back misses the entire attack.

82 mins: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

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