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Euro 2024: Belgium defeats Romania 2-0, with De Bruyne sealing victory

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Euro 2024: Belgium defeats Romania 2-0, with De Bruyne sealing victory
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Photo: AFP 

Cologne, Germany: After defeating Romania 2-0 on Saturday, Belgium opened their European Championship campaign with a goal from Kevin De Bruyne.

After losing to Slovakia in their first game, the third-ranked Belgians bounced back with a commanding display at Cologne Stadium in front of the Belgium royal family.

In the second minute, Youri Tielemans scored a goal from the edge of the area to give them a great start, AFP reported.

In the 80th minute, De Bruyne effectively ended the match by converting a long kick from Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels. With three points apiece, the four teams in Group E have everything to lose in the decisive round of games on Wednesday. Even though Belgium won, Romelu Lukaku was particularly upset by the outcome of the Euros since VAR disallowed his third goal.

Nevertheless, he played a key role in his team's outstanding start when he set up Tielemans for a goal with a low drive from the edge of the box.

It came at the perfect time for Belgium following Slovakia's stunning performance, which raised the threat of another early exit from a major tournament after being defeated in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.

There is more opportunity for error in the Euros format, where the four best third-place teams advance. However, a further loss would have undermined the confidence of a team that had previously been chastised for falling short of expectations, especially with memories of Qatar still raw. Belgium dominated the remainder of the half with 67 per cent of the possession after Tielemans' goal appeared to relieve some of the burden. After the break, Lukaku believed he had scored, but VAR determined he had drifted offside before blasting past Florin Nita, the Romanian keeper.

Tension increased as the game continued without Belgium getting a second goal. Dennis Man came through on goal and had the opportunity to tie the score, but Casteels stopped him. After that, the goalie turned provider and punted far upfield, setting up De Bruyne for an easy goal.

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TAGS:BelgiumRomaniaEuro 2024
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