Belgium coach plays down Hazard injury scare

Brussels, June 12: Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has played down Eden Hazard’s knock during their 4-1 win against Costa Rica in a pre-World Cup friendly, saying the Chelsea playmaker’s World Cup was not in doubt. “I really enjoyed his performance. He was sharp and strong, he was majestic. At the end he just came off because he had a little bit of a dead leg, a little bit of a knock on his leg,” Martinez was quoted. Hazard limped off in the 70th minute after an awkward collision as Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the team’s comfortable victory. Hazard looked in brilliant touch before leaving the field. Also on target were Dries Mertens and Michy Batshuayi after the visitors had taken a surprise 1-0 lead. “I get the feeling this team wants to face adversity together. We are ready, ready for the World Cup,” Martinez said about the team’s performance. Belgium start their World Cup campaign next Monday against Panama in Sochi before facing Tunisia and England in Group G. IANS