World Cup - Lukaku and Hazard score in comfortable Belgium win over Sweden

International friendly, Friends Arena - Sweden 0 Belgium 2 (Lukaku 35, Hazard 79)

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World Cup - Lukaku and Hazard score in comfortable Belgium win over Sweden
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Belgium's forward Romelo Lukaku (L) celebrates with Belgium's midfielder Dries Mertens (AFP)

Chelsea duo Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard proved the difference as Belgium continued their World Cup preparations with a 2-0 win over Sweden.

Belgium took the lead after 35 minutes, taking advantage of a mistake by Andreas Granqvist. Axel Witsel slotted through Lukaku, who set himself before lashing into the top corner from 20 yards.

Marc Wilmots' side largely dominated the contest and doubled their lead deep into the second half, with Hazard sweeping into the net after a neat one-two with substitute Divock Origi.

The impressive Kevin De Bruyne came close to adding a third in stoppage time, but his effort on the counter attack clipped the outside of the Swedish post and went wide.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY EVENTS

16’ - BAR! Belgium hit the crossbar! The ball is collected by De Bruyne on the edge of he box, who has time to set himself and curl an effort to the far corner of the target. But his shot rebounds back off the bar.

34’ - GOAL! This time Lukaku takes the shot from the edge of the box after a slip-up from Bengtsson, and the Chelsea striker finds the corner of the net.

38’ - SAVE: What a save by Isaksson! The ball is whipped to the back post, where the defender is lurking unmarked. But from close range he sees his effort saved by the goalkeeper, who made himself as big as possible.

68’ - WOODWORK! Sweden hit the woodwork! The ball is cut back to the edge of the box from the right side by Larsson, with Durmaz running on to it at speed. His strike is powerful but is slightly too high and clips the top of the bar on its way over!

79’ - GOAL! Very nice goal. Hazard plays a neat one-two with Origi, freeing up some space just inside the opposition box and sweeping into the net past Isaksson.

91’ - POST! Belgium hit the post! Sweden leave themselves completely open on the counter attack, with De Bruyne driving at the exposed opposition backline. But his shot clips the post and goes wide of the target.

TALKING POINT

How far can Belgium go at the World Cup? Marc Wilmots’ side are many people’s ‘Dark Horses’ in Brazil this summer, but how far can they actually go? Do they stand a chance of winning the whole thing? They got a favourable group draw and have the quality to go deep into the tournament.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium - Two Chelsea players scored the only goals of the game, but it was a player let go by Chelsea that provided Belgium with their attacking spark, particularly in the first half. De Bruyne was very impressive and made a strong case for a starting spot in Brazil.

PLAYER RATINGS

Sweden – Isaksson 5, Lustig 6, Granqvist 4, Antonsson 5, Bengtsson 5, Kallstrom 4, Larsson 6, Durmaz 7, Hysen 5, Zengin 6, Toivonen 6. Subs – Berg 4, Wernbloom 5, Bengtsson 5, Johansson 6.

Belgium – Courtois 6, Alderweireld 6, Van Buyten 6, Kompany 5, Vermaelen 5, Witsel 7, Dembele 5, Mertens 6, De Bruyne 8, Hazard 6, Lukaku 7. Subs – Fellaini 4, Chadli 5, Origi 6.

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