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Euro 2020: Lukaku fires for Belgium to crush Finland knockout hopes

Goals from Thomas Vermaelen and Romelu Lukaku secured a 2-0 victory for Belgium over a gallant Finland in St. Petersburg on Monday.

After a shock win over Denmark in their opening game, Finland were dreaming of reaching the knockout phases in what is their first appearance at a major tournament.

And for 74 minutes, the dream was a reality as Markku Kanerva's side held on with grit and determination to deny Belgium, one of the tournament favourites.

That was until Vermaelen rose majestically to head off the bar, the ball bouncing off the luckless Lukas Hradecky and over the line.

Up until that point, Finland defended stoically against a powerful Belgium side which featured Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne in the starting line-up.

The dynamic duo linked up in the first-half as De Bruyne's cross found Lukaku, but the Inter Milan striker headed straight at Hradecky.

Lukaku thought he'd opened the scoring in the second-half after connecting on a through ball from De Bruyne, but VAR eventually chalked the goal for offside.

Belgium eventually had their opener through Vermaelen and Lukaku put the result beyond doubt when he scored his third of the tournament with 81 minutes on the clock.

Finland will find it hard to finish as one of the best third-placed teams as they now have a goal difference of -2.

Switzerland and Ukraine already have a better record than the Finns, while Belgium's win also means England, the Czech Republic, Sweden and France are guaranteed to progress even if they drop to third because they all have four points already.


Finland - 0

Belgium - 2 (Vermaelen 74', Lukaku 81')

Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg

Man of the Match:Kevin De Bruyne

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Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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