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Belgium out of World Cup as Croatia advances with 0-0 draw

Belgium and its aging generation of players were eliminated from the tournament Thursday after a 0-0 draw with Croatia, which advanced as the second-place team in Group F behind Morocco.

December 02, 2022 / 12:45 AM IST
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, left, reacts after missing a chance to score during the World Cup group F soccer match between Croatia and Belgium at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, left, reacts after missing a chance to score during the World Cup group F soccer match between Croatia and Belgium at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The ball reached Romelu Lukaku right in front of goal with seconds remaining. Score, and he'd send Belgium into the round of 16 of the World Cup.

Somehow, he missed.

Belgium and its aging generation of players were eliminated from the tournament Thursday after a 0-0 draw with Croatia, which advanced as the second-place team in Group F behind Morocco.

Minutes after the game, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez announced he'd be leaving his role after more than six years — a decision he said he had reached before the World Cup started. His departure could easily have been delayed.