Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ukraine 0-0 Belgium: Wasteful Red Devils sneak through to face France in last 16

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Jun 2024


Belgium limped into the Euro 2024 knockout stages after Wednesday’s goalless draw with Ukraine, setting up an enticing last-16 meeting with France.

Domenico Tedesco’s side had several golden opportunities but were unable to make them count as Ukraine were eliminated from the competition on goal difference, as all four Group E teams finished level on points.

Romania’s 1-1 draw with third-placed Slovakia was enough to send them through as group winners on goals scored, while Belgium finished second due to a superior goal difference.

Romelu Lukaku threatened to open his tournament account early on after being picked out by Kevin De Bruyne but failed to trouble Anatolii Trubin with his effort.

The Red Devils continued to dominate possession but failed to convert it into gilt-edged chances, with De Bruyne’s inventive near-post free-kick the closest Tedesco’s side came.

Ukraine posed a threat on the break, however, and almost took the lead when Roman Yaremchuk’s cross narrowly evaded Artem Dovbyk in the six-yard box.

De Bruyne and Lukaku combined again in the second half, but the same result followed as the Red Devils’ all-time top scorer saw his tame attempt easily gathered.

The introduction of Yannick Carrasco sparked Belgium into life, with his stinging effort palmed away by Trubin as they looked to find a winner.

Yet Ukraine went the closest late on as Ruslan Malinovskyi’s audacious corner-kick almost caught Koen Casteels out at his near post.

However, the winning goal for both sides ultimately eluded them, with Belgium now facing the difficult task of facing the two-time Euros champions on Monday in Dusseldorf.

Data Debrief: Lack of clinical edge punishes the Red Devils

Belgium can only have themselves to blame after failing to capitalise on several promising opportunities, registering just four shots on target from 10 attempts, underperforming their expected goals (xG) by 0.28.

Lukaku’s woes continued in front of goal and he is still yet to find the target at Euro 2024. The Belgium striker had the joint-most shots (two) and shots on target (two) but should have done much better with his opportunities.



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