https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=612soAYEGxk

Belgium suffered a shocking 0-1 defeat to Slovakia in the opening round of Group E at Euro 2024, on June 17

Belgium dominated the first five minutes with two golden opportunities for Romelu Lukaku, but the 31-year-old striker missed both. Afterward, Jeremy Doku’s mistake at home allowed Slovakia to score in the 7th minute.

Belgium had nearly an hour and a half to equalize, but failed. VAR twice canceled Lukaku’s goals due to offside and a handball by Lois Openda.

Doku made a mistake leading to the goal, and Lukaku was no less to blame for wasting his teammates’ efforts. Lukaku missed two early chances, both coming after Doku’s moves. Lukaku hit the goalkeeper Martin Dubravka at close range once, and clumsily handled a one-on-one opportunity.

By the end of the half, Lukaku missed another similar chance. He failed to trick goalkeeper Dubravka with a long pass from Yannick Carrasco, clumsily losing the ball out the touchline. Lukaku’s disastrous first half left Belgium trailing at halftime.

Slovakia played disciplined in the first half and deservedly led. They took advantage of a chance when Doku clumsily handled a throw-in and carelessly passed into the penalty area. Juraj Kucka couldn’t beat goalkeeper Koen Casteels, but Ivan Schranz was there to finish the chance. Slovakia also shot on target four times in the first 45 minutes, twice as many as Belgium.

The second half saw a strong revival from Lukaku and his teammates. The Belgian striker continued to find good positions and improved his finishing, but lacked luck. He netted after a header from Amadou Onana in the 56th minute, but VAR canceled the goal due to offside.

Things got even worse for Lukaku in the 86th minute when his second goal was disallowed. At first glance, there seemed no reason for the referee not to recognize Lukaku’s volley into the top corner. But upon VAR review, Openda had controlled the ball with his hand prior to passing to Lukaku. Belgium’s previously jubilant celebration turned meaningless.

Lukaku alone had an expected goal (xG) of 0.82, while Slovakia’s entire team was only 0.59. Not only Lukaku, but also Belgium’s other attackers were unlucky, resulting in no goals despite 15 shots. Leandro Trossard shared some of the blame when he shot over the bar in the first half with a clear sight of goal.

Belgium’s defeat was the second surprise in Group E, after Romania beat Ukraine 3-0. Belgium’s unbeaten streak stopped at 15, since their 0-2 defeat to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup. Belgium failed to score in their last 47 shots at major tournaments such as the World Cup and Euro, including 11 clear chances. At the 2022 World Cup, Lukaku’s lack of clinical finishing saw Belgium eliminated in the group stage after failing to beat Croatia in the final round.

Starting Lineups:

Belgium: Casteels; Castagne, Debast, Faes; Doku (Openda 84), Onana, Mangala (Bakayoko 58), Carrasco (Lukebakio 84); De Bruyne, Trossard (Tielemans 74); Lukaku.

Slovakia: Dubravka; Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Lobotka, Duda (Obert 90); Schranz (Duris 81), Bozenik (Strelec 70), Haraslin (Suslov 70).

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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