Jun 8, 2014, 6:59 AM EDT
Wilmots elected to start 19-year-old Divock Origi in Saturday’s friendly in Brussels, but with Belgium held scoreless after an hour, replaced him with star forward Lukaku. Dries Mertens gave Belgium with win with a goal in the 89th minute, but the triumph shortly turned to dismay. Lukaku limped off with an apparent ankle injury in the final moments of the match.
“For now it looks like a severe sprain, but of course there will be further tests tomorrow,” Wilmots said. “As it looks now, Romelu will be out for three or four days. Let’s hope it stays that way.”
Belgium will be crossing their fingers that the World Cup Injury Plague hasn’t touched their team once more. Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke ruptured his Achilles during training in April, ruling him out of the tournament. That leaves Lukaku as the only center forward with real experience (Origi has just two caps for his country).
While the Belgium midfield is bursting with talent, and the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas and Kevin De Bruyne can certainly score goals, Wilmots is not one to set up his side without a target man. And with Lukaku having already scored four goals in Belgium’s last two games, they’ll certainly want his presence up top.
Belgium’s first match is on Tuesday, June 17 against Algeria. Should tests reveal Lukaku’s injury to be a minor one, he should be set to play the opener. If not, their World Cup hopes may plummet to the ground.
Oct 23, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers likes what Mario Balotelli has to offer, but he’s unsure if the forward will last a while at Anfield.
Oct 23, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
Will the Blues lose their first game of the season away at Old Trafford on Sunday? JPW and Prindi analyze that and more.
Oct 23, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
Little Eddie won’t have a say in who he supports, but it’s all for a good cause.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT
Free agent Valdes arrives to “train with the first team” at United.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT
Gulati: “Jurgen is our coach and technical director, and I fully expect that to be the case through to the 2018 World Cup.”
Oct 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
With Costa struggling to make the bench, plus Remy out, Chelsea are running out of strikers.
Oct 23, 2014, 11:04 AM EDT
Howard: “I know what he likes to do, but that doesn’t mean I will always be capable of stopping him.”
Oct 23, 2014, 10:22 AM EDT
Atlanta Falcons owner urges Beckham to link up with Miami Dolphins to sort out MLS stadium mess.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT
A gang of 100 local men reportedly ambushed Everton fans outside city center pub.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Will Saints swoop to sign former Liverpool star?
Oct 23, 2014, 8:34 AM EDT
Liverpool’s players react to Real Madrid humbling, as growing pains continue to spiral out of control.
Oct 23, 2014, 7:54 AM EDT
After two draws in October, the USA drops six places in latest world rankings.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:04 PM EDT
How did the Galatasaray supporters pull off this Tifo before Wednesday’s match against Borussia Dortmund? How?!?
Oct 22, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT
The pair of Premier League clubs remaining in the competition face quite different tests on Thursday.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT
Perhaps it isn’t the sexiest year for rookies in Major League Soccer, but there’s a quartet of names set to stick around for a while.
Oct 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
“I had hope, it maybe didn’t look like it, but it happened,” Wenger said.
Oct 22, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT
“So overall, it’s a squad with a lot of experience playing at the highest level, and this will be another great benchmark for us,” Klinsmann said.
Oct 22, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
Of course many are claiming this “is the beginning of end” for Balotelli on Merseyside. That seems a bit much.
Oct 22, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT
Here’s the bar, Week 33 of Major League Soccer: Please feel free to raise it.
Oct 22, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
We are at the halfway point in Groups A-D, and some English clubs are concerned about their fortunes to be sure.
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