Two goals each for Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard and one for Michy Batshuayi swept Belgium to a 5-2 victory over Tunisia on Saturday that put them in command of World Cup Group G and underlined their status as one of the tournament favourites.
Cursed by the "Golden Generation" tag for their last two global tournaments, Belgium have been seen as underachievers given the wealth of talent at their disposal. Wahbi Khazri bagged a late consolation for Tunisia, but it did little to take the shine off a memorable result for Belgium.
"Lukaku pulled level with Cristiano Ronaldo on four goals in the race to land the Golden Boot, having become the first man since Diego Maradona in 1986 to score twice in consecutive World Cup games".
The Chelsea star sprinted onto De Bruyne's lofted pass, held off two defenders, rounded keeper Ben Mustapha and tapped home Belgium's fourth goal in the 51st minute.
Syam Ben Youssef needlessly crashed into Hazard to give away a sixth-minute penalty, which he calmly converted.
It looks a simple task for Belgium on paper - but this World Cup isn't going to the script.
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"England are very strong in dead-ball situations", he said. There were no 0-0 draws in the 1954 tournament, which included 16 teams and a total of 26 games.
Belgium were dominant from the outset, taking a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes through Hazard's penalty and Lukaku's fine finish.
He indicated Belgium will be particularly vigilant during set-pieces, noting that 60 percent of goals at the tournament so far had come from dead-ball situations, including both of Harry Kane's strikes in England's 2-1 win over Tunisia.
"Eden Hazard has a calf knock, Dries Mertens has an ankle problem". Maradona had achieved the mark against Belgium and England in Mexico.
"'It's easy to play with a player like him", Hazard said after the win over Tunisia.
The Three Lions had all kinds of chances in the first half of that match, with some poor finishing and bad luck leading to the tense second half.