Croatia v Belgium: Group F - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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Belgium are out of the FIFA 2022 World Cup after a 0-0 draw with Croatia at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday. The Red Devils missed a host of chances through Romelu Lukaku and were also saved by VAR for a first half penalty. The result also marks the end of manager Roberto Martinez's time with the squad, as the manager is stepping down as with the tournament over he's stepping down as Belgian manager, a decision he says he made before the World Cup began.

It was do or die for Belgium and they created some early openings through Yannick Carrasco and Dries Mertens, but the finishing was already wayward by that early stage. Carrasco was then penalized for a foul on Andrej Kramaric only for VAR to step in and overrule it for an offside.

Despite the let-off, there was a major lack of urgency from the Belgians and it prompted Roberto Martinez to throw Romelu Lukaku on for the second half in an effort to find the breakthrough. What happened next will unfortunately go down in World Cup folklore as arguably one of the worst finishing displays.

After Thibaut Courtois denied Marcelo Brozovic as part of an impressive trio of saves, Lukaku proceeded to miss a stunning array of opportunities with one effort off the post particularly woeful from the Inter Milan man. It was shades of Chris Wondolowski back at the 2014 edition with the USMNT.

Eden Hazard was thrown on late on in a bid to make the difference, but the Croatian defesne held firm with Josko Gvardiol particularly impressive in the back line. Lukaku and Hazard were unable to make the difference and the Belgian golden generation's final chance passed them by.

Blaming Lukaku for this one game would absolve a number of Belgian players from a fair share of the fault for what has been a problematic campaign from the off. That they managed to even beat Canada was an achievement considering how impotent they have looked since.

As it transpired, Martinez announced his departure as Belgium boss shortly after the final whistle in what the Belgian federation say was a pre-made decision before the tournament even began, despite rumors of an extension not too long ago.

"Roberto Martinez has announced that he will stop as national coach of the Belgian Red Devils," read the briefest of statements. "The decision was already made before the tournament."

"That was my last game," said Martinez after the final whistle. "It was emotional as you can imagine. The decision was taken just before the World Cup. I always work towards the long-term projects and they need to be set in advance. Since 2018 I had many opportunities to leave to take jobs at club level. I always wanted to be loyal and finish the job. I don't resign it is the end of my contract. That was always the plan.

"It's been six years since I arrived with a clear idea to qualify for the World Cup. You get engaged with the people and we felt we needed to give it another go. It has been a real joy. I am so proud of these players. It has been amazing. It's been six years that we have been able to do everything you want to do in a club in a national team and that makes me extremely proud. We love the way this team has played. It has given us incredible joy. It is the time for me to accept that this is the last game."