MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 14:11:44| >> :600:1025369:1025369:
Jun 21, 2021 at 8pm UK at Saint-Petersburg Stadium
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hradecky (74' og.), Lukaku (81')

Result: Finland 0-2 Belgium: Red Devils ease into last 16 of Euro 2020

Result: Finland 0-2 Belgium: Red Devils ease into last 16 of Euro 2020
© Reuters
Two second-half goals earned Belgium top spot in Group B

An own goal from Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky and a smart Romelu Lukaku finish sent Belgium into the last 16 of Euro 2020 with a perfect record from Group B after a 2-0 win in St Petersburg.

The Finns had fought an increasingly desperate rearguard action in the hunt for the point they hoped would prove enough to seal qualification but were ultimately left to almost certainly exit the tournament.

Thomas Vermaelen’s 73rd minute header from a corner struck a post before dropping over the line after striking the hand of the unfortunate Hradecky, who had earlier kept his side in the game.

And Belgium consigned the Finns to their fate in the 81st minute after a clinical turn and shot in the box by Lukaku, making up for an earlier effort that had been ruled out by VAR.

The Belgians eased into the game secure in the knowledge they had already done enough to progress, but despite making eight changes boss Roberto Martinez kept most of his big guns involved.

Unsurprisingly, they dominated the early stages, but apart from a couple of early attempts by Lukaku to muscle his way towards goal, the well-organised Finnish defence held firm.

It took half-an-hour for Belgium to have their first real chance when the ball fell to Axel Witsel on the edge of the box, only for the midfielder to spoon his effort way over the bar.

Lukaku should have done better in the 37th minute when he was sent through by a brilliantly incisive lofted pass by Kevin De Bruyne but fired his low shot straight at Hradecky.

Hradecky stretched brilliantly to deny 19-year-old Jeremy Doku shortly before the break as the Finns headed for the interval still in pole position for a place in the last 16.

Stacking all 11 men behind the ball, the Finns looked increasingly confident and even managed a rare shot on target just past the hour-mark when Rangers’ Glen Kamara shot straight at Thibaut Courtois.

Hradecky saved his side once more in the 63rd minute when he denied Eden Hazard and two minutes later Lukaku blasted past the keeper, only to have his effort ruled marginally offside after a lengthy delay.

But Vermaelen’s header provided the crucial breakthrough for the Belgians and Lukaku’s clinical finish left Finland, who ended the group in third place on three points, hoping for a mathematical miracle if they are to avoid an early trip home.

ID:452267:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4334:
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10151136
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
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
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!