Belgium Off to a Good Euro 2020 Start After Crushing Win Over Russia

Belgium swept Russia aside with an overwhelming 3-0 win in their Euro 2020 Group B curtain-raiser on Saturday night. The world’s number one team according to the FIFA ranking enjoyed a stellar start to their European Championship campaign, making a decisive step towards reaching the knock-out stages.

Seeking their first major international title, Belgium announced their presence at the Euro Finals in emphatic fashion despite Kevin De Bruyne’s absence. The Manchester City playmaker had to remain on the sidelines after picking up a facial injury during the Champions League final against Chelsea.

However, Inter headline performer Romelu Lukaku soaked up the limelight as the star of the night. The 28-year-old barely put his foot wrong throughout 90 minutes and was the one to break the deadlock ten minutes into the match.

Even though Lukaku was clearly offside following Dries Mertens’ long ball, Russian defender Andrey Semenov made a terrible mistake after trying to play the ball, leaving the Belgian star onside.

Russia tried to reply quickly, but Mario Fernandes directed his header straight into Thibaut Courtois following Aleksandr Golovin’s perfect corner-kick delivery. The action went back and forth, with neither side managing to capitalize on their opportunities.

But Borussia Dortmund right-back Thomas Munier was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the Russian goalkeeper Anton Shunin’s poor clearance to put clear daylight between the sides. With 11 minutes left before half-time, Russia tried to whittle down the gap but failed to trouble the scoreboard.

Belgium opted to drop back and let the Sbornaya enjoy a lot of possession in the second half. Unfortunately for Stanislav Cherchesov’s men, they struggled to create enough clear-cut chances, barely putting Courtois to the test.

Although it seemed like there will be no more goals, Lukaku made sure to add second to his tally, latching onto Meunier’s inch-perfect through ball to remove all doubts, if any.

Belgium will take on Denmark on Matchday 2 at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen and could secure their place in the next round with a win against the side that shockingly lost 1-0 to group underdogs Finland.    



June 12, 2021 – European Championship 2020 Group B

SCORERS: 10′ Lukaku, 34′ Meunier, 88′ Lukaku

BELGIUM (3-4-3): Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen (77′ Vermaelen); Castagne (27′ Meunier), Dendoncker, Tielemans, Carrasco (77′ Praet); Mertens (72′ E. Hazard), Lukaku, T. Hazard (Mignolet, Sels, Denayer, Benteke, Chadli, Batshuayi, Trossard, Doku) Coach: Martinez
RUSSIA (5-3-2): Shunin; Fernandes, Barinov (46′ Diveev), Dzhikiya, Semenov, Zhirkov (43′ Karavaev); Zobnin (63′ Mukhin), Ozdoev, Kuzyaev (30′ Cheryshev, 63′ Miranchuk); Golovin, Dzyuba (Sobolev, Zabolotny, Dyupin, Zhemaletninov, Ionov, Yevgenyev) Coach: Cherchesov

REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
NOTES: No Yellow Cards