Belgium vs. Panama score: Lukaku nets World Cup brace as Red Devils come alive in opening win

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On Monday, Belgium notched three points in its 2018 World Cup opener despite a poor first half against Panama. The Red Devils struggled with Panama's physical play in the first half and couldn't get one past Jaime Penedo, but in the second half the attack came alive, and it wore the Central American side down on the way to a 3-0 victory.

Just two minutes into the second half, Dries Mertens made it 1-0 with this ridiculous volley:

Then it was Romelu Lukaku time. The big, powerful forward scored twice in seven minutes to put the game away. His first came off a lovely ball from Kevin de Bruyne:

Then just moments later, Lukaku finished with class with a lifted ball over Penedo:

That result gives the team three points and some momentum, while Panama loses its first ever World Cup match. It was still an admirable showing for the Panamanians, who hung tough in the first half. 

Relive Belgium vs. Panama with match commentary

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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