Lukaku double sends Belgium into Nations League final four



Posted Thursday, November 19, 2020 by ESPN

Lukaku double sends Belgium into Nations League final four

Romelu Lukaku underlined his status as Belgium's key attacker with two goals to help his team book their place in next year's Nations League finals with a 4-2 home victory over Denmark on Wednesday.

Lukaku extended his record scoring form for his country with a second-half double as Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne also netted for Belgium.

Denmark scored through Jonas Wind after 17 minutes, heading home from close range, and Belgium gifted them a second with a comical own goal credited to Nacer Chadli four minutes from time.

Belgium finished five points clear at the top of League A Group 2 and will meet world champions France and former World Cup winners Italy and Spain in the final four next October.

"We have proven now we can play difficult games," said Lukaku after Wednesday's victory.

"We can play teams off the park but we also know how to win when its needed even if it is not with our best style. When we need we can play with a strong defence and on the counter attack.

"Our football has developed such that we can be efficient in defence and then in a moment score goals with a single chance," he told a news conference.

The hosts got off to the perfect start when Tielemans fired them ahead in the third minute, beating his Leicester City team mate Kasper Schmeichel with a grasscutter from outside the penalty box that squeezed in between the Danish goalkeeper's outstretched arm and the post at Leuven's Den Dreef stadium.

Yet Wind's equaliser swung the first-half momentum to Denmark, who then created further chances.

Belgium got back on top, however, when Tielemans turned provider for Lukaku's first goal in the 56th minute with a quickly-taken free kick that caught out the Danish defence.

He played it through to De Bruyne, who moved it onto Lukaku whose shot was blocked by Schmeichel but then looped up off the keeper and bounced into the net.

Lukaku then scored his 57th international goal with a strong header as he got goalside of Danish captain Simon Kjaer to finish off a cross from Thorgan Hazard in the 70th minute.

The deficit was reduced when Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois let a back pass from Chadli slip under his foot and into the net.

Denmark, however, barely had time to register their good fortune before De Bruyne struck Belgium's fourth.



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