Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in comfortable start to Euro 2020

Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in comfortable start to Euro 2020
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Belgium were hardly troubled by Russia in their fine victory, despite star Kevin de Bruyne not playing.PHOTO: REUTERS

Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium confirmed their status as one of the favourites for Euro 2020 with a 3-0 victory over Russia on Saturday (June 12).

Despite being without key performer Kevin de Bruyn, the world number one were rarely in trouble against their opponents.

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium top Group B with three points, ahead of Finland on goal difference after the latter beat Denmark in the group’s other game in Copenhagen.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions and have suffered just one defeat in their last 24 outings. They have also scored in each of their last 31 games.

The visitors grabbed the lead in the 10th minute when Andrei Semyonov failed to deal with a ball into the box from Leander Dendoncker. Lukaku turned and fired into the bottom corner.

Belgium were calm in possession and found plenty of time and space against Russia who struggled to get a firm grip on the game.

The Russians reached the quarter-finals in the World Cup they hosted in 2018 but the energy of those performances was missing, despite playing at home in front of more than 26,000 fans.

Stanislav Cherchesov struggled to find either the tempo to their attacks or a way to provide quality service to striker Artem Dzyuba who was too often left isolated.

It was no surprise when the second goal came, in the 34th minute, when Russia keeper Anton Shunin could parry Thorgan Hazard’s shot only towards Thomas Meunier, who made no mistake.

Russia applied some pressure after the interval but the Belgians coped without too much panic. Lukaku wrapped up the win with a well-taken effort after racing on to a through ball from Meunier.

-Reuters

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