European Football Championship, Group E: Slovakia wins against Belgium

European Football Championship, Group E: Slovakia wins against Belgium

Belgium – Slovakia 0:1 (0:1)

Belgium started the European Football Championship in Germany with a defeat in preliminary group E. Coach Domenico Tedesco’s team suffered a surprise 0-1 defeat to Slovakia in Frankfurt. As was the case at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the “Red Devils” are in danger of being eliminated in the preliminary round.

Ivan Schranz scored the winning goal in front of around 47,000 spectators. The game-deciding goal was scored in the seventh minute. Belgium’s Jérémy Doku made a bad pass at his own corner flag. Juraj Kucka was then completely free to shoot. Schranz was able to shoot the rebound from a tight angle to take the lead – also because Belgium’s defense chief Wout Faes had overturned the offside.

Weak Belgians in the first half

The Slovakian team’s opening goal was preceded by two chances for Belgium in the early stages: after just three minutes, Romelu Lukaku could have made it 1-0 after a pass from Doku, which midfield star Kevin De Bruyne extended. But Lukaku missed from a promising position.

Shortly afterwards, the 31-year-old striker, who became Belgium’s sole European Championship record player with his eleventh appearance, had another chance. But this time he flicked the ball too far forward against the onrushing goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka. Shortly before half-time, Lukaku missed another good opportunity. At the other end, Lukáš Haraslín (39th) failed with a powerful volley against Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels (39th).

Two Belgian goals disallowed

After the half-time break, Lukaku was still the focus of attention. Dúbravka defused the first chance (55th minute), but Lukaku seemed to equalize in the next scene. However, the goal was disallowed for offside after a review by the video referee. A few minutes later, it was Lukaku again who gave the Belgians hope – but his shot landed on the side netting. A shot by substitute Johan Bakayoko was cleared off the line.

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Shortly before the end, the ball was in the net again: Lukaku finished off an attack via Zeno Debast and Leipzig substitute Loïs Openda with a shot into the left corner (86th minute) – but the video referee intervened again. Referee Halil Umut Meler from Turkey looked at the scene again on the screen and also took back this goal: Openda had touched the ball with his hand in a running duel before the goal. This meant that Slovakia’s surprising 1-0 opening victory remained.

The Belgians’ next opponent is Group E leaders Romania in Cologne on Saturday. Slovakia will play against Ukraine in Düsseldorf on Friday.

Belgium started the European Football Championship in Germany with a defeat in preliminary group E. Coach Domenico Tedesco’s team suffered a surprise 0-1 defeat to Slovakia in Frankfurt. As was the case at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the “Red Devils” are in danger of being eliminated in the preliminary round.

Ivan Schranz scored the winning goal in front of around 47,000 spectators. The game-deciding goal was scored in the seventh minute. Belgium’s Jérémy Doku made a bad pass at his own corner flag. Juraj Kucka was then completely free to shoot. Schranz was able to shoot the rebound from a tight angle to take the lead – also because Belgium’s defense chief Wout Faes had overturned the offside.

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