Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, center, battles for control of the ball with Japan's Kazuki Nagasawa, right, during a international friendly soccer match between Belgium and Japan at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Brugge, Belgium, Tuesday. Photo: AP

Lukaku gives Belgium 1-0 win over Japan in friendly


Romelu Lukaku turned into Belgium's savior again and became the nation's all-time top scorer as he headed home for a 1-0 victory over Japan in a friendly on Tuesday.

A game between two teams bound for next year's World Cup was decided in the 72nd minute, when Nacer Chadli weaved through the Japan defense and lobbed the ball into the goalmouth for Lukaku to head it over the goalline.

It was Lukaku's 31st goal for Belgium and he became top scorer at age 24.

Lukaku was already instrumental in qualifying Belgium for Russia and also scored a brace last weekend in a 3-3 draw with Mexico.

Belgium fielded a lot of second-string players seeking to make a belated impression on coach Roberto Martinez.

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So, Japan has lost another friendly... this time to BELGIUM. They are going no where in WC. Time to start blaming the coach, I guess.

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You sound surprised. Belgium were at home, and currently ranked fifth in the world.

Have a little more respect for those Phlegms!

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Belgian fielded a second string side, so the result does not mean much

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Belgium have a squad with top class players. You could argue that the two most talented players in the multi-billion Premier League are Belgians.

If they can find a system to get the best out of those top players and others, they could be genuine contenders to win the World Cup.

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Belgian fielded a second string side, so the result does not mean much

Didn't watch the game but read that Meunier, Lukaku, De Bruyne, Vermaelen, Mertens, Verthongen all played so that looks like a pretty strong '2nd string side' to me! Looks like Hazard and Alderweireld were the only 2 big names missing?

Agree with jimizo, Belgium will have a very competitive starting XI. Still think Germany, Spain and France are ahead though (Belgium, England, Brazil and a couple of others not too far behind perhaps).

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