Belgium 2-0 Romania: Domenico Tedesco’s side respond to critics with Kevin De Bruyne on the scoresheet… while Romelu Lukaku has ANOTHER goal ruled out at Euro 2024

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after 72 seconds and brought new optimism to Belgium
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The Belgians are back in the match. After a false start to Euro 2024, they came alive with a Youri Tielemans goal in 73 seconds to rock Romania, and a performance from vintage Kevin de Bruyne in the second half.

Fast and furious they dominated for a long time with De Bruyne the creative heartbeat and scorer of the crucial second in the 80th minute, an emphatic answer to the question of whether he could dictate another game at this level.

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Belgium should have won more comfortably and yet they remain vulnerable. Wasteful in front of goal and often vulnerable at the back, Romelu Lukaku continued to lose his personal battle with the unseen forces in the VAR box.

Lukaku thought he had made it 2-0 in the 64th minute and raced clear after a De Bruyne pass, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside, just like his two in the defeat to Slovakia.

It would have made the final stages of the match a lot less stressful for Domenico Tedesco and his team, which is ranked third in the world according to FIFA.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after 72 seconds and brought new optimism to Belgium

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after 72 seconds and brought new optimism to Belgium

Kevin De Bruyne – often accused of missing out on the international stage – stepped up with a goal to earn the three points

Kevin De Bruyne – often accused of missing out on the international stage – stepped up with a goal to earn the three points

Kevin De Bruyne – often accused of missing out on the international stage – stepped up with a goal to earn the three points

Instead, they traded punches with Romania even after De Bruyne’s goal but held on to win, leaving all four teams in Group E level on points going into the final series of matches.

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Three is the magic number when Belgium faces Ukraine and Romania faces Slovakia.

CONTEST FACTS

Belgium 4231: Casteels 6.5; Castagne 6.5, Faes 6, Vertonghen 6, Theate 6.5 (Debast 77); Tielemans 7.5 (Mangala 72), Onana 7; Lukebakio 6.5 (Trossard 56, 6.5), De Bruyne 9, Doku 7 (Carrasco 72); Lukaku 7.5

Goals: Tielemans 2, Lukaku 64,

Bookings: Lukebakio

Manager: Domenico Tedesco7

Romania 4141: Nita 7; Ratiu 5 (Sorescu 90), Dragusin 7, Burca 6.5, Bancu 5.5; M. Marin 5 (olaru 68); Man 7, R.Marin 5.5, Stanciu 5, Mihaila 6 (Hagi 68); Dragus 5 (Alibec 81)

Goals: N/A

Bookings: Bancu, M. Marin

Manager: Edward Iodarnescu6

Belgium’s shock defeat to Slovakia provided the kind of pressure they could do without so early in the tournament. Tedesco’s response was to make four changes, including a recall for 37-year-old Jan Vertonghen, who won his 155th cap.

More importantly, they came out at full strength, buzzing with energy and determination, rousing Romania and driving players forward.

Their reward was the early goal from Tielemans, back in the side after being left out of the opener. It was a fine first goal from the Aston Villa midfielder, who zipped low past goalkeeper Florin Nita from just outside the penalty area, after fantastic approach play from Jeremy Doku on the left and a lay-off from Romelu Lukaku.

Tottenham’s Radu Dragusin forced a save from Koen Casteels as Romania tried to hit back quickly, but they struggled to maintain any control. Belgium, with the influential Kevin de Bruyne, surged forward and peppered Nita’s goal.

Dragusin swung across the turf and blocked one shot on Lukaku’s turn. Nita saved another from Dodi Lukebakio after a flash of classic De Bruyne, skipping challenges as he blazed a path through the center of the field. Vertonghen shot wide from a corner. Lukebakio shot over.

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Twenty thousand Romanians in the stands tried to lift their team. They knew a point would put them virtually in the last 16 of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 2000, when they beat Kevin Keegan’s England to progress out of the group.

That would give manager Edward Iordanescu the kind of legendary status to rival his father Anghel, who, then inspired by the brilliance of Gheorghe Hagi, led the country to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup.

Belgium exerted pressure by losing to Slovakia, but came alive here against Romania

Belgium exerted pressure by losing to Slovakia, but came alive here against Romania

Belgium exerted pressure by losing to Slovakia, but came alive here against Romania

Jan Vertonghen won his 155th cap at the age of 37, keeping a clean sheet

Jan Vertonghen won his 155th cap at the age of 37, keeping a clean sheet

Jan Vertonghen won his 155th cap at the age of 37, keeping a clean sheet

If Edward Iordanescu can lead Romania to the last 16, he would achieve legendary status

If Edward Iordanescu can lead Romania to the last 16, he would achieve legendary status

If Edward Iordanescu can lead Romania to the last 16, he would achieve legendary status

Hagi, whose son Ianis was among the substitutes, was in Cologne to offer his support and as half-time approached and Belgium’s energy levels faded, Romania found more time on the ball and took some of the sting out of the match as he asked the Belgian. defense.

Casteels saved from Dennis Man and had to be alert to run out of his goal to deny first Denis Dragus and then Valentin Mihaila, but the more they risked in attack, the freer De Bruyne and his speedy wingers broke through on the counter-attack.

Romania regrouped at the break and were much calmer in the second half. The man tested Casteels again with a fierce drive as he cut in from the right and Mihaila burst through the center but a poor touch saw him go wide and his shot on target flew well over.

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It was much more of an even match. De Bruyne started to find his range as the spaces opened up. First, only a few inches wide with a curling iron at a distance. Then a low shot was saved and a cross almost found Doku at the back post.

When he released Lukaku to score in the 64th minute, relief washed over the Belgian ranks. They didn’t seem to anticipate the VAR check, which, somewhat inevitably, disappointed him again. Fans groaned as the image appeared on the big screen, showing just how tight the call was.

Lukaku was on the Rhine until the second goal, a long route-one kick launched through the center by Casteels, misjudged in the air by Andrei Burca and De Bruyne held off Dragusin’s challenge as he scored his 28th international goal. He’s not ready yet. Neither does Belgium.

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