Domenico Tedesco’s Belgium cruised to a 5-0 victory over Azerbaijan in their Euro 2024 qualifying Group F eighth-place match at Stade Roi Bowin in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday (July 20), thanks to four goals from Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium, unbeaten in Euro qualifying, qualified for the knockout stages at the top of Group F with six wins, two draws and 20 points. This is Belgium’s third consecutive qualification, dating back to Euro 2016.
After parting ways with longtime coach Roberto Martinez following a shock group stage exit at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Belgians have continued to make changes with the appointment of young 38-year-old Tedesco.
Belgium started in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Timothy Castaigne, Oot Pas, Jan Vertonghen, and Artur Thériault formed the defense, with Kun Castils in goal. Aster Branks and Aurel Mangala protected the defense in the back three, with Yoann Bakayoko, Leandro Trosar, Jeremy Dockoo, and Lukaku up front.
Azerbaijan countered with a 4-4-2 formation. Elvin Zaparguliev, Anton Krivochyuk, Rahil Mamadov, and Hojat Haghverdi formed the defense in front of Shakhrudin Magomediev in goal. Eddy and Emin Makhmudov in the center and Alexey Isaev and Tural Byramov on the flanks. Up front, Renat Dadasov and Mahir Emreli were looking to score.레모나토토
Belgium dominated from the start. Although Castaigne is a fullback, they were quite aggressive, moving up to the front of the opposition where Ayo Dokou is. Outgunned in terms of objective power, Belgium got off to a good start with Lukaku’s header in the 17th minute. Lukaku headed home a cross from Dokou.
Belgium then gained a numerical advantage when opposing defender Eddy was sent off in the 23rd minute for a second booking for a strong tackle on Lukaku.
Two minutes later, Belgium took advantage of a loose defense and Lukaku rattled the net with a powerful shot after receiving a header from Trosar. The initial call was offside, but VAR review showed he was onside.
Four minutes later, a towering Paz sent in an early cross that Lukaku headed home to complete the hat-trick. It didn’t take long for the goals to come.
Lukaku added a fourth in the 36th minute on a quick counter-attack, taking a pinpoint touch on Bakayoko’s pass before firing a powerful right-footed shot into the top corner.
The Belgian offense continued. The fullbacks who moved up the flanks were doing a great job. In the 46th minute of first-half stoppage time, Castaigne rattled the net after his shot was saved by the goalkeeper. However, the goal was disallowed after Lukaku was ruled offside before Trosar’s shot.
Lukaku was replaced by Roy Offenda at the start of the second half after a four-goal first half. Branks was also replaced by Yuri Tillemans.
The second half saw more of the same for Belgium. Offenda, Dokou, Bakayoko, and Trossard utilized their individual skills to attack. In the 28th minute, on a counterattack after losing possession, substitute Anín Carrasco had a shot blocked by a defensive block after Trosar’s dribble.
In the 37th minute, Tillemans’ mid-range effort hit the post. Three minutes later, Trosar blasted a mid-range chance high into the air, but a minute later, he calmly slotted home his team’s fifth goal from a cutback opportunity. The game was over.
Lukaku was loaned back to AS Roma ahead of the season. Reunited with Jose Mourinho, he has rekindled his goalscoring touch in Serie A, where he is playing again. He’s been devastating with nine goals in 14 official games, including the UEFA Champions League.
Add to that his four goals in one game for the national team, a streak of four consecutive goals in four Euro qualifying A matches, and a staggering eight goals in four matches.
Lukaku’s total of 14 goals in the tournament is a new Euro qualifying record, surpassing the previous mark of 13 set by David Healy (Northern Ireland) and Robert Lewandowski (Poland).
Meanwhile, in Group J, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal beat Iceland at home to make it 10 wins in 10 Euro qualifiers.
Portugal defeated Iceland 2-0 in their Euro 2024 qualifier Group J 10th round match at Estádio Jose Avalazi in Lisbon, Portugal on Tuesday. United captain Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a strong right-footed shot from near the penalty spot after Bernardo Silva nudged the ball back from the right flank, finding the bottom corner of the opposite post.
In the 21st minute of the second half, after back-to-back shots from João Felix and Cristiano Ronaldo were saved by the goalkeeper, Ricardo Orta was on hand again to slot the ball home with his left foot.
Portugal, who won the tournament in 2016, are well on their way to a second title. Drawn in Group J alongside Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, and Slovakia, Portugal won all 10 of their qualifying matches, including a 9-0 win over Luxembourg in Round 6 and a 5-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Round 8, to finish first in the group with 30 points.