Thursday, July 25, 2024

Belgium 2-0 Romania: Tielemans and De Bruyne hand Red Devils much-needed win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jun 2024

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Belgium bounced back from their opening defeat at Euro 2024 with a much-needed 2-0 win over Romania, Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne scoring as they got off the mark in Group E.

Following their surprise 1-0 defeat to Slovakia on matchday one, Domenico Tedesco’s men knew another defeat would leave them unable to secure a top-two finish.

They came flying out of the traps and needed just 73 seconds to open the scoring, Tielemans firing home from the edge of the area following good hold-up play from Romelu Lukaku to score the Red Devils’ fastest ever goal at a major tournament.

They continued to press throughout the first half but were unable to find a second goal, Lukaku going close when he saw his shot on the turn blocked by Nicusor Bancu.

De Bruyne flashed a curling effort narrowly wide of the far corner shortly after the break, then it appeared he had assisted Belgium’s second when he released Lukaku to finish into the bottom-left corner, only for the striker to be ruled offside following a VAR check.

Koen Casteels made a crucial stop from Dennis Man to keep Belgium’s lead intact, and they made that reprieve count with 11 minutes to play, De Bruyne latching onto Lukaku’s flick-on before prodding his finish past Florin Nita when one-on-one.

Belgium failed to add a third despite chances for Lukaku and Leandro Trossard late on, but their win tees up an intriguing finale in Group E with all four teams on three points ahead of Wednesday’s final set of games.

Data Debrief: Lukaku’s rotten luck continues

Belgium may have gotten over the line on Saturday, but Lukaku continued to endure some rotten luck up top, his disallowed goal in the second half being the third strike he has seen chalked off at Euro 2024. That is more goals than any player has scored.

Not including those strikes, he has now failed to score from eight shots worth a total of 1.27 expected goals (xG) at this tournament.

He will be desperately hoping it is a different story in next Wednesday’s decider against Ukraine.

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