Belgium finally annoucne themselves at the Euros after registering a comfortable win against Republic of Ireland in Friday afternoon kickoff. Ireland held Belgium to a 0-0 scorline in first half but after the break Belgium pretty much blow Ireland away with a superb showing. Lukaku scored on either side of Alex Witsel goal as Belgium raced to 3-0 lead. Both Hazard and Bruyne were instrumental in the buildups leading up the goals. Ireland are not out of the competition yet but it will be difficult for them to get a result against Italy in their last group game. While Belgium just need a draw to qualify in their last game.
Belgium 3-0 Ireland
[ UEFA European Championship 2016 ]
48′ 1 – 0 Romelu Lukaku scored just after the break when Kevin De Bruyne squared a superb ball inside the box for Lukaku who slotted home with a neat finish
61′ 2 – 0 Axel Witsel scored second of the day in 61st minute after Thomas Meunier put in a nice looking cross and Witsen thumped home for Belgian’s second.
70′ 3 – 0 Romelu Lukaku scored his second of the day, similar to first one as Hazard squares a easy ball for big Belgian who slots home with neat finish.
Match Preview & Team News: Belgium were humbled in their opening game by Italy which came as a surprise for many who had installed Belgium as one of the favourites to go all the way. Defeat against Italy might have lower the expectations attached to this Belgium squad but their is no denying the talent they have in the current pool of players. From defence to attack they have quality players who are playing for top clubs around Europe. Another defeat against Ireland will put some serious dounts over the players commitment while a good performance and dominant win will put Belgium back in the reckoning.
Ireland on the other hand started their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sweden and since their third game will be against Italy, they must beat Belgium to keep their qualification hopes in their own hands. Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is likely to make couple of changes and the most notable might be Romelu Lukaku who was below par against Italy. Divock Origi might start upfront with trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco to play in attacking roles.
Match Predictions: Belgium finally need to turn up at a major tournament and number of their top players at the peak of their careers they are not going to get a better chance than in France this summer. I expect them to put up a better performance against Ireland who will make it difficult. But as we have seen after the competitive first round matches, teams who dropped points in the opening games are taking more risks to finally win a game. I am expecting a high scoring game where Belgium should prevail.