Belgium 4 Denmark 2 – Lukaku’s double strike seals Belgium spot in finals

Belgium 4 Denmark 2 - King Power, Leuven Inter-Milan striker Romelu Lukaku

UEFA Nations League Group A2 report – Belgium vs. Denmark – Wednesday, 18 November 2020 – Matchday 6 of 6

Belgium 4 Denmark 2 – King Power, Leuven

Inter-Milan striker Romelu Lukaku stamped his authority as his country’s key attacker when his double strike helped Belgium breeze into the Final four with a convincing 4-2 victory over Denmark at Leuven on Wednesday night.

Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans fired the Belgians into the lead early in the 3rd minute with a powerfully struck grounder that squeezed past club mate and Danish custodian Kasper Schmeichel’s outstretched arm.

A spark of brilliance from Christian Eriksen enabled the visiting Danes draw level. The ex-Tottenham midfielder’s long pass found Martin Braithwaite whose shot took a rebound for 21-year old debutant Jonas Wind to head home in the 18th minute.

Buoyed by the equalizer, the Danes almost went ahead but Braithwaite fluffed his one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois.

Tielemans supplied Lukaku’s first goal 11 minutes into the second-half.

A quickly-taken free kick by the Leicester player caught the Danish defence off-balance as he played it through to Kevin De Bruyne who moved it onto Lukaku.

The striker’s powerfully taken shot was blocked by Schmeichel but the ball looped up off the keeper and bounced into the net. 2-1 in the 56th minute for the hosts. Lukaku found his second of the night 12 minutes later in the 69th when he headed in from a pin-point Thorgan Hazard cross.

Denmark reduced the deficit thanks to an error by Courtois who allowed a back pass from Nacer Chadli to slip under his leg and into the net for an own goal by the latter in the 86th minute.

The Danes had hardly paused for breath when De Bruyne swept in a fourth for Belgium with a shot into the far corner to make the final score read at 4-2. The victory for coach Roberto Martinez’s side means that they will join France, Spain and Italy in the finals, which will take place in October 2021.

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Although it wasn’t the best showing by the No.1 team in the world, the Belgians preserved their 100 per cent home record in the UEFA Nations League in their progress to the final stage.

Belgium line-up:

Courtois (goal); Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen (Boyata 90+2); De Bruyne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Chadli; Mertens, Lukaku, T Hazard (Foket 77)

Denmark line-up:

Schmeichel (goal); Maehle, Christensen, Kjaer, Wass; Delaney (Jensen 70), Højbjerg, Eriksen; Braithwaite, Wind (Sisto 88), Poulsen (Andersen 76)

UEFA Nations League results

Wednesday 18 November

A1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Italy
A1 Poland 1-2 Netherlands
A2 Belgium 4-2 Denmark
A2 England 4-0 Iceland
B1 Austria 1-1 Norway
B1 Northern Ireland 1-1 Romania
B2 Czech Republic 2-0 Slovakia
B2 Israel 1-0 Scotland
B3 Hungary 2-0 Turkey
B3 Serbia 5-0 Russia
B4 Republic of Ireland 0-0 Bulgaria
B4 Wales 3-1 Finland
C2 Armenia 1-0 North Macedonia
C2 Georgia 0-0 Estonia
C3 Greece 0-0 Slovenia
C3 Kosovo 1-0 Moldova
C4 Albania 3-2 Belarus
C4 Kazakhstan 1-2 Lithuania

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