Mertens scores wonderstrike for Belgium

Matthias Hangst  Getty Images

Matthias Hangst Getty Images

There was a sense of relief for Panama when the last whistle blew at Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Monday.

"I think that's going to be very unsafe for any team that's going to be facing Panama in this tournament because they've got that incredible belief and competitive nature that they can achieve a dream and I think that's what the World Cup should be in football". If Panama is to have a chance against Belgium, it must be allowed to play physically and stifle the Red Devils' pace and movement.

Despite being forced to spend much of the game defending, the Panamanians showed strength, speed and trickery when they did break forward, and they created chances of their own in a scoreless first half.

Dries Mertens broke the deadlock with a crashing volley and Romelu Lukaku's double made the scoreline more reflective of Belgium's superiority.

Martinez said he was not surprised by the opposition put up by Panama in the first half.

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On Monday night, a cold front will settle over the area, driving temperatures back down to the low to mid-60s, Deubelbeiss said . An Upper level ridge of High Pressure will plant itself across the SE & Mid-Atlantic states between now and next Tuesday .

Veteran midfielder Gabriel Gomez admitted players were anxious before the match, but quickly realized it wasn't as bad as they thought it could have been. "It's valid for all players who have the skill to make a difference with the ball". "They have two legs like you, two eyes like everybody else", he said. "We succeeded in keeping them at zero".

Coach Gomez said his players should be happy with their performance.

"I think that my hunger is always wanting to score goals and, definitely, down the middle you get more opportunities to do so", he told reporters ahead of England's 2-1 World Cup opening win over Tunisia (quotes via Manchester Evening News).

Lukaku scored twice as Roberto Martinez's men kicked-off their campaign with a 3-0 win in Russian Federation.

"It was very emotional", he said. There was happiness, anxiety. The match started and the team felt all these emotions.

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When quizzed as to how he was feeling leading the team again, Rahane said that he was honoured to have got the opportunity. And while there is a major gulf between the teams, the Afghans intend to try to bridge that gap with a plucky attitude.

Sweden is back at the World Cup for the first time since 2006, and its most famous player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, retired from global competition after the European Championship.

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. "It was historic what we went through here today".

Romelu Lokaku prays after the match as his brace brings his scoring record to 38 goals for Belgium at 25 years old.

"You know the English team are strong, they can play even 100 minutes and we have to fight to manage 90 minutes at the same pace the Europeans play". Rashford believes that playing on the left and right is helping him grow and develop.

Strong deadly quake rattles Japan
Eiji Shibuya, 52, said the tremor reminded him of the devastating 1995 Kobe natural disaster , which killed almost 6,500 people. The 6.1 magnitude quake struck just before 8:00am (23:00 GMT) on Monday, knocking over walls and injuring at least 230 people.

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