Belgium Run Riot On Ireland

Lukaku Hits 2 As Belgium Sweeps Republic of Ireland Away at Euro 2016

Belgium score three second half goals as they registered their first win at Euro 2016.

Two goals from Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and a header from Alex Witsel in a 22 minute spell was a relief for Belgium especially after the pressure coming into this game.

Alex Witsel celebrates after scoring
Alex Witsel celebrates after scoring

Lukaku, 23, who was criticised after the defeat to Italy in their last game finally came out of his shell as his first goal came three minutes into the second half.

Belgium doubled their advantage in the 61st minute as Alex Witsel powered in a header. Romelu Lukaku rounded off a fast counter-attack in the 70th minute to seal all three points for the red devils.

This defeat for Ireland means they need to win against Italy to stand any chance of qualifying for the last 16.

Eden Hazard of Belgium in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 group E preliminary round match between Belgium and Ireland
Eden Hazard of Belgium in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 group E preliminary round match between Belgium and Ireland

Martin O’Neill will be wondering how his team crumbled in the second half despite their best efforts.

As for Belgium they take on Sweden next in Nice needing just a point to book themselves in the last 16.

Out of sorts duo Lukaku and De Bruyne kept their places. It was the Man city man that looked back to his best in the early stages.

He was involved in many opportunities and his crosses were causing Ireland’s backline problems.

Republic of Ireland supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere
Republic of Ireland supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere

Republic of Ireland looked comfortable in the first half but offered very little in attack. They did however have an opening in the 25th minute as Wes Hoolahan released Jeff Hendrick in on goal but Alderweireld made a crucial tackle on the edge of the penalty area.

Belgium had a goal disallowed soon after as Yannick Carrasco headed the ball home after Darren Randolph tipped his initial volley onto the bar, but the assistant referee raised his flag.

Minutes into the second half Belgium were ahead. Lukaku picked out De Bruyne on the right flank who in turn passed it back to Lukaku who took a touch before bending his shout beyond Randolph and into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards.

Thomas Vermaelen of Belgium in action against Shane Long of Republic of Ireland
Thomas Vermaelen of Belgium in action against Shane Long of Republic of Ireland

Moussa Dembele soon went off injured, but that didn’t disrupt Belgium’s confidences as they soon made it two nil. Meunier’s first time cross found the head of Alex Witsel who powered his effort on goal. Randolph got a hand onto it but it was too powerful for his own liking as the ball went in the net to make it 2-0.

Furthermore, Belgium made it three in the 70th minute as Hazard was released clear by Meunier before squaring it off to Lukaku who had an easy finish to wrap up the victory.

Jeff Hendrick in action
Jeff Hendrick in action

Belgium will be looking to seal there place in the last 16 when they take on Sweden on Wednesday. Whilst Ireland will be looking to overcome the Italians who have already sealed their passage into the next round.

Bockarie Koroma

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