MX23RW : Sunday, February 24 03:47:17
Jun 18, 2018 at 4pm UK at ​Fisht Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 43,257
Belgium
3-0
PanamaPanama
Mertens (47'), Lukaku (69', 75')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Roberto Martinez: 'Belgium very mature in World Cup win over Panama'

Martinez hails
© Reuters
Roberto Martinez is delighted with Belgium's "mature" display in Monday's 3-0 win over Panama in their World Cup opener at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has praised his players' "mature" display in a tricky but ultimately resounding 3-0 win over Panama in their World Cup opener.

The Red Devils endured a frustrating first half against the tournament debutants, who defended in numbers and got to half time without conceding.

Belgium improved after the break, however, Dries Mertens opening the scoring on 47 minutes before Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace to put the result beyond doubt.

"I'm delighted," Martinez told reporters. "It was exactly what we expected - there are no easy games at the World Cup.

"We started very well but then became frustrated as the first half wore on. But I was delighted in the way the team reacted and the commitment everyone showed to keep a clean sheet.

"In the second half we found our composure and the goal from Dries Mertens, a great goal, was so important for us.

"In a World Cup, you have to play for 90 minutes and we had to be prepared to work hard, show maturity and real togetherness."

Belgium return to action on Saturday against Tunisia at the Otkrytiye Arena.


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Panama manager Hernan Dario Gomez on March 27, 2018
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