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Belgium national football team
European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 22, 2024 at 8pm UK
Romania national football team

2 - 0

Tielemans (2'), De Bruyne (80')
Lukebakio (35')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Bancu (59'), Marin (65')

Belgium defeat Romania to keep Euro 2024 hopes alive

Belgium defeat Romania to keep Euro 2024 hopes alive
© Reuters
Belgium record a crucial 2-0 victory over Romania to keep their Euro 2024 Group E hopes alive, moving level on three points with the rest of the group.

Belgium recorded a crucial 2-0 victory against Romania to keep their Group E hopes alive as they secured three points, moving level with all three other sides going into the final game of the group stage.

Domenico Tedesco's side were able to capitalise on a dominant performance this time around, earning their first three points of Euro 2024 and ensuring they did not lose their opening two matches in a major tournament for the second time in their history.

While they were the better side throughout the 90 minutes, Belgium struggled to put the game out of sight from their opponents and a second-half resurgence from Romania threatened to draw the game level on multiple occasions.

Kevin De Bruyne eventually added a second goal with 10 minutes remaining, securing the victory for the Red Devils and meaning all four teams in Group E go into the final game of the group stage level on three points.

Belgium got off to the perfect start in their attempted recovery following their opening game defeat thanks to Youri Tielemans opening the scoring after just 73 seconds, the third fastest goal in European Championship history.

The goal came about thanks to the midfielder's hard work after he won the ball back with Romelu Lukaku then able to charge towards the goal before finding Jeremy Doku, who squared up to his defender before playing it back to the striker.

Lukaku, facing away from goal, backed into his opposite number, taking a touch and laying it off to Tielemans just outside the area with the midfielder fizzing a low effort past the keeper and giving his side the lead.

Romania looked to equalise just minutes later when they worked a short corner around the box before eventually crossing into the area where Radu Dragusin rose highest, but his header was tipped over the bar by Koen Casteels.

Doku proved a threat throughout the first half and came close to creating the second goal when he played the ball into Lukaku, who backed into his defender before unleashing a shot, but it bounced wide of the post.

Belgium came charging forwards again five minutes later through De Bruyne, who found Dodi Lukebakio with the winger cutting onto his left foot before curling an effort towards the far corner, but Florin Nita was equal to it as he turned it around the post.

Tedesco's men played the majority of the remainder of the first 45 minutes inside Romania's half but were unable to create any real chances of note, leaving them with a 1-0 lead going into the second 45.

Romania burst out of the blocks in the second half as they looked to get back into the game, and Valentin Mihaila almost did exactly that in the 48th minute as he raced through the middle of the park before striking with his left foot, but his shot flew over the bar.

De Bruyne was a key figure in the second half and almost scored in the 52nd minute after a fantastic bit of build-up play from Belgium, culminating in the midfielder curling an effort from outside the box towards the far post, but his shot went inches wide.

Just after the hour mark Belgium thought they had the second goal when De Bruyne's pass found Lukaku rushing towards goal, with the striker firing past the keeper with a first-time strike.

A VAR check followed and denied the striker for the third time in Euro 2024 due to an extremely tight offside decision.

Romania had a huge chance to equalise just minutes later when Dennis Man found himself through on goal, but the winger took too long to take his shot, allowing Casteels to close the gap and make a comfortable save.

The Red Devils finally got their insurance goal in the 80th minute when a goal kick was sent long by Casteels, bouncing over the Romania backline and allowing for De Bruyne to poke past the keeper.

Edward Iordanescu's side came close to drawing one back when Denis Alibec capitalised on Wout Faes's failure to clear the ball, chipping over the onrushing keeper, but Timothy Castagne was able to clear the ball off the line.

The victory for Belgium means all four teams in Group E now sit level on three points after two games played - the first time that has ever happened in European Championship history - leaving everything to play for in what promises to be an exciting final day.

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Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco before the match on March 23, 2024
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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