MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 20:13:09| >> :600:1047054:1047054:
Jun 21, 2021 at 8pm UK at Saint-Petersburg Stadium
FinlandFinland
0-2
BelgiumBelgium
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hradecky (74' og.), Lukaku (81')

Roberto Martinez hails "professional" performance as Belgium win again

Roberto Martinez hails
© Reuters
An unfortunate own goal from keeper Lukas Hradecky and a late strike from Romelu Lukaku sealed the Belgians' 2-0 win over Finland.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez believes his side are ready to take the next step in their quest for a major trophy after cruising into the knockout stages of Euro 2020 with a third straight win.

An unfortunate own goal from keeper Lukas Hradecky and a late strike from Romelu Lukaku sealed the Belgians' 2-0 win over Finland, who are left with a slim hope of going through as one of the best third-placed teams.

After finishing third at the World Cup and rising to the top of the world rankings, Martinez is convinced his players are showing glimpses of the kind of form that could take them further.

He told Euro2020.com: "This team has been very consistent over the last five years. It's now about getting every individual at their very best.

"We were really focused and professional. We defended very well and waited for the first goal. We knew that would open everything up. We were almost there in the first half but we adapted to a difficult team."

Belgium seldom looked in danger of losing control in a match in which they dominated possession, and despite making eight changes Martinez was keen to see some of his star names earn more minutes.

He was particularly pleased with the form of Eden Hazard after a season dogged by muscle strains, adding: "He pushed himself, got into good positions. He looks free, twisting right and left.

"The next step is now to see Eden with that final pass, that shot that finishes in the back of the net. I was delighted with his performance."

Finland coach Markku Kanerva admitted disappointment at the final outcome having hoped for much of the evening that his side might muscle in on one of the qualifying slots.

The Finns battled well, but Hradecky's own goal, when he palmed a Thomas Vermaelen header into his own net, effectively sealed the Finns' fate, particularly in light of Denmark's emphatic win over Russia.

Kanerva said: "I'm very proud of the work ethic my players showed today. You saw the quality of Belgium, but I'm extremely proud of the way my players fought."

Referencing Denmark's ability to overcome the trauma of Christian Eriksen's collapse to brush aside Russia, Kanerva acknowledged: "Denmark showed great mental strength.

"I'm proud that we finished ahead of Russia in the tournament, and I don't know how many people thought we'd go into the last game with the chance of going through. But Denmark deserved second place."

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Denmark's Mikkel Damsgaard celebrates scoring their first goal against Russia at Euro 2020 on June 21, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
Tables

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