Belgium brush off injury to Hazard

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Soccer Football - International Friendly - Belgium vs Costa Rica - King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium - June 11, 2018 Costa Rica's Yeltsin Tejeda in action with Belgium's Mousa Dembele REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts

Brussels (AFP) – Belgium made light of injury to Eden Hazard in their last warm-up before the World Cup on Monday, the Chelsea star limping off in the 4-1 defeat of Costa Rica in Brussels.

Hazard was forced off in the 70th minute after an apparent knock to his right ankle as Belgium sparkled against their fellow finalists with a powerful brace from Romelu Lukaku.

While Red Devil fans will have looked on concerned Hazard’s teammates and manager dispelled fears of the injury having an impact on the 27-year-old Hazard’s World Cup.

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“I’m not too worried about Eden, he’s a tough guy. He gets kicked all the time, but soon gets over it,” said Lukaku.

Dries Martens, who also got on the scoresheet, tapping in Hazard’s deflected shot, added: “Eden? We’ll see, he’s strong, I reckon he’ll be okay.”

And coach Roberto Martinez declared there was “nothing to worry about”.

“He’s very strong, he just had a dead leg towards the end of the match.”

“”I really enjoyed his performance. He was sharp and strong, he was majestic,” he told reporters.

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Hazard’s brother, Belgium teammate Thorgan, told Belgian newspaper SudPresse: “It was a little knock. He’ll be fine. I have to say sorry as it was on one of my passes that it happened.”

SudPresse reported that Hazard boarded a private jet to London after the match with Belkium due to fly to Russia today.

Martinez’s multi-talented side were just too much for Costa Rica, who opened brightly and even took the lead through Bryan Ruiz with a slick finish.

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