Belgium wins by hat trick Lukaku over Sweden, assist PSV’er Bakayoko on debut
Watch the summary of Sweden – Belgium
New coach Domenico Tedesco’s rejuvenated Belgium handled Sweden fairly easily in the European Championship qualifier: 0-3. The goals were scored by Romelu Lukaku and one of them was cleverly prepared by PSV player and debutant Johan Bakayoko.
After the failed World Cup in Qatar, veterans like Toby Alderweireld and Eden Hazard said goodbye to the Belgian national team. Axel Witsel and Dries Mertens were passed over by Tedesco.
Upon taking office, Tedesco promised soccer at a high tempo, played by a fresh selection. Against Sweden, the former did not really succeed yet, but several young players managed to excel.
The easiest way the Belgians played soccer was down the right flank, where Kevin de Bruyne and Dodi Lukebakio often found each other.
Hertha Berlin attacker Lukebakio, who scored on his debut for “The Red Devils” with an omelette against the Orange last year, was a plague for the Swedish defense.
In the first half hour Sweden, with the returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, could keep up and the home team even created an excellent chance through Dejan Kulusevski. Defender Wout Faes just managed to clear the ball from the line.
But after 37 minutes, the Belgians’ individual class was the deciding factor. Lukebakio threatened, dribbled and crossed to Lukaku, who let the ball disappear with his head into the far corner.
Glancing role Bakayoko
The 0-1 did the Belgians good, as the field play became increasingly smooth. In midfield, Amadou Onana set the lines, playing in the spot where Witsel had been a certainty for years.
Just after halftime, Lukaku struck for the second time. A corner was taken short, Lukebakio once again passed a defender and crossed, after which Internazionale’s striker could easily tap in (0-2).
Check out the standings in Pool F, the group of Belgium, E and G, below:
Half an hour before time, Bakayoko relieved Lukebakio. Less than 15 minutes later, he had already given his first assist as an international. Bakayoko flew past on the right side and served Lukaku, who completed his hat-trick effortlessly (0-3).
Thus, the three points were for the Belgians. Not even substitute Ibrahimovic – the self-proclaimed past, present and future of Swedish soccer – could change that.