Lukaku, who even sobbed, was frustrated in the round of 16 in Belgium
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (29, Inter Milan) shed tears with his back bent after the game. This is because he missed a series of decisive opportunities after being put in as a substitute in the second half. He could not hide his tears as he was only able to reach the round of 16 with just one goal, which was the worst goal determination for an attacker.
Lukaku played as a substitute against Croatia in the final Group F match of the 2022 FIFA (International Football Federation) Qatar World Cup at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Alaiyan, Qatar, at 00 a.m. on the 2nd (Korea Standard Time), but remained silent. Belgium eventually failed to advance to the round of 16 in a 0–0 draw with Croatia.
Lukaku was replaced with the start of the second half. The mission was a ‘goal’ for the round of 16. This is because Belgium could advance to the round of 16 at the World Cup if it won.
The first opportunity came in the 15th minute of the second half. A shot from a fellow striker was hit by the goalkeeper and flowed to the gate. Lukaku’s right-footed shot ahead of the penalty spot, however, hit the post. It was the first mistake.
Lukaku’s frustration ensued. Three minutes later, the left side cross hit the opponent’s defender and went to the goal, and Lukaku connected it with a header to the goal without a goalkeeper. But Heather was wide off the net. Lukaku also stood in his place in disbelief and held his head. In the 41st minute of the second half, Toma Mönier (Dortmund) slightly changed the direction of the cross from the right side of the penalty box at the gate, but it was off the net.
The so-called horror show peaked at 45 minutes in the second half. Torgang Hazard (Dortmund)’s long cross from the right side passed the goalkeeper and headed to the back of the net, and it was connected to Lukaku in front of the net. However, Lukaku made a “battle”, not a shot, and the deflected ball was held in the goalkeeper’s arms with a significant decrease in speed. It was an incredible decision.
Lukaku, who failed to connect the side cross with a shot even in the extra time of the second half, was frustrated with the referee’s final whistle and holding his head. The result was a 0-0 draw. If only one goal had been scored, it would have been the moment for Belgium to advance to the round of 16, but it failed to score only one goal, eventually falling into despair.
In the end, he sobbed in the arms of Thierry Henry (France) and Belgium’s senior coach. The worst decision that really blew the team’s round of 16. The tears of guilt seldom stopped. Belgium, ranked second in the FIFA rankings, suffered the humiliation of being eliminated from the group stage for the first time in 24 years.