Zlatan returns as Lukaku scores hat trick in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Sweden in Group F Euro Qualifier
Belgium’s quest for redemption from their dismal performance in the Qatar World Cup started off on a high note as they secured a convincing 3-0 win over Sweden in the opening Group F Euro Championship qualifier. While the much-awaited return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic created a buzz, it was Romelu Lukaku who stole the show, scoring a hat trick and sealing a comfortable victory for Belgium.
New Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco couldn’t have asked for a better start as his side dominated the game, with Sweden posing little threat to their defence. The win at Friends Arena was a clear indication that Belgium is back and ready to fight for the championship.
The game initially looked like it would be a draw, with Dejan Kulusevski coming closest to scoring for Sweden in the 15th minute before Wout Faes cleared it off the line. However, Lukaku broke the deadlock in the 35th minute with a powerful header from a cross by Dodi Lukebakio, who caused havoc in the Sweden defence from the outset.
Lukaku continued his brilliant performance in the second half when he grabbed another goal. The striker took advantage of some slack marking to turn in a low cross from Lukebakio from close range, doubling Belgium’s lead early in the second half.
The introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 73rd minute created a lot of buzz in the stadium, but the AC Milan striker couldn’t make an impact on the game, losing his footing on the poor pitch at Sweden’s national arena on his first chance to make a difference.
In the 76th minute, Lukaku completed his hat trick, capitalizing on the home defence’s collapse and sealing an easy win for Belgium.
Overall, the match was a great display of Belgium’s strength and determination to win the championship. If they can maintain their current form, they will undoubtedly pose a serious threat to their competitors.
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