Watch: Troubled Belgium star Romelu Lukaku hits dugout after missing numerous chances in World Cup nightmare

Highly regarded Belgium were eliminated from the World Cup in spectacular fashion overnight as star striker Romelu Lukaku ended the game in tears and hit the bench after squandering numerous chances.

Belgium, second in the world rankings and semi-finalists four years ago, needed a win over Croatia to keep hopes alive of progressing to the round of 16.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Belgium star Romelu Lukaku bats on the bench after World Cup nightmare.

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However, the Croatian defense held strong and Belgium failed to score, with Lukaku guilty of missing a bunch of clear chances.

With Belgium looking for goals, Inter Milan star Lukaku came on at half-time in hopes he could add to his 68 goals in 103 appearances for the national team.

Lukaku missed four golden chances to break the deadlock as Belgium threw the shackles in the second half, despite Croatia having their own chances.

Assistant coach Thierry Henry comforts Romelu Lukaku. Recognition: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

The tall striker missed two close-range chances in the final minutes of the game, deflecting a crisp Thomas Meunier shot on the edge and then watching in amusement as the ball slammed into his waist, the goal in his hand before falling harmlessly rolled to the keeper.

Belgium continued to press but failed to find the net and were knocked out of the World Cup as Croatia progressed to the last 16 with group winners Morocco.

When the game ended in disappointment for the so-called ‘golden generation’ of Belgian players, including Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku looked devastated and had to be comforted by Belgian assistant and all-time footballing legend Thierry Henry.

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Lukaku’s frustration boiled over after the game when he hit the side of the dugout, shattering the plastic.

After the game, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez announced his retirement.

“Today was my last game as national coach. Of course it’s very emotional,” Martinez said.

“You can imagine after third place in 2018 I had a lot of offers but I wanted to be loyal and fulfill my contract.

“Now our journey is over.”

Roberto Martinez says goodbye to Belgium’s World Cup. Recognition: AP

In an uneventful, restrained first half, however, there was still some drama. Croatia were awarded a penalty in the 16th minute when Andrej Kramaric’s toe was cut off by Yannick Carrasco and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

However, just as Luka Modric was preparing to take the free-kick, Taylor was ordered to watch the VAR monitor and quickly reversed his decision after looking for an earlier offside.

The automated system in place displayed an image on the stadium’s big screen showing Croatia’s Kramaric running perhaps a shirt sleeve past the last man.

Croatia now meet Group E winners Japan in the round of 16.

– With AAP

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https://7news.com.au/sport/world-cup-soccer/watch-distraught-belgium-star-romelu-lukaku-punches-dugout-after-missing-numerous-chances-in-world-cup-nightmare-c-9035897 Watch: Troubled Belgium star Romelu Lukaku hits dugout after missing numerous chances in World Cup nightmare

James Brien

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