Belgium 2-0 Romania: Tielemans and De Bruyne get Red Devils up and running

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Belgium 2-0 Romania: Tielemans and De Bruyne get Red Devils up and running

Berlin, JUN 23: Goals in each half from Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne mean it is all to play for going into the final fixtures in UEFA EURO 2024 Group E. All four teams in Group E sit on three points after Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne helped Belgium get the better of Romania in Cologne.

If the story of their opening loss against Slovakia was one of missed chances, Belgium went about changing that narrative in emphatic fashion by scoring within two minutes in Cologne. In a frenetic start, the ball broke for Romelu Lukaku and when he received it back from Jérémy Doku, he teed up Tielemans to rifle low and hard past Florin Niță – at 73 seconds, the third fastest goal in EURO history.

Romania responded straight away, Radu Drăgușin climbing highest to force a fine save from Koen Casteels. Doku and Lukaku continued to combine as the latter turned but saw his shot deflected wide. A typically driving run from De Bruyne then gave Dodi Lukébakio the chance to test Niță, the keeper saving at full stretch before batting away another Doku shot.

Edward Iordănescu’s men remained undeterred. They finished the half well, were on the front foot after the break and nearly gained their reward when Valentin Mihăilă burst clear, only to fire over. De Bruyne went close twice and was becoming ever more influential, combining with Lukaku regularly. Casteels came to Belgium’s rescue as he denied Dennis Man when the winger got in behind.

It proved to be a huge save and the keeper then turned provider by clearing long, with De Bruyne anticipating a slight flick-on and stretching out to guide in the second. Romania continued to push but Belgium saw out the final moments to get their campaign up and running.