A third victory for a full box. Belgium logically took precedence over Finland, this Monday evening, in the last match of group B, and validated its qualification for the next round as the first group. Dominating and offensive, the teammates of Eden Hazard, holder with the Red Devils for the first time since 2019, have long stumbled on the Finnish goalkeeper, Hradecky, author of several decisive saves.
Upon returning from the locker room, the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper finally folded for the first time in front of Romelu Lukaku, thrown deep by Kevin De Bruyne. A short-lived joy for the Inter Milan striker, since the German referee Felix Brych then signals an offside, with the help of the VAR (65 ‘).
But more was needed to destabilize the Belgians determined to achieve a clear round in their pool, as in 2018. Barely 10 minutes later, Thomas Vermaelen headed a corner, on the left post of Hradecky. The ball returns to the Finnish goalkeeper, who despite himself pushes the leather into his own goal. 1-0 for Belgium (74 ‘).
Not satisfied, Roberto Martinez’s men continue to push to worry an increasingly feverish Finnish defense. And Romelu Lukaku, as a matter of course, ends up finding the loophole. Served in the heart of the surface, the number 9 carries out an oriented control and turns on the right Hradecky, helpless. 2-0 for Belgium (81 ‘), final score.
The Red Devils will play their round of 16 on Sunday, June 27, in Seville, against a group third. This opponent could be … France, qualified for the next round since Monday evening, but which could be part of the best third in the event of a defeat against Portugal on Wednesday evening (to be continued on TF1). Finland, she finished third in Group B and will have to wait to see if the adventure continues. At the same time, Denmark has largely won against Russia (4-1), and qualifies in eighth. The Russians are eliminated.
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Thanks to their victory tonight, the Red Devils finish at the top of their group with three victories in as many games. They will face a third group in the round of 16, Sunday May 27 at 9 p.m., in Seville.
In the other meeting of the group, Denmark crushed Russia (4-1) and qualifies for the knockout stages.
⏰ IT’S OVER IN SAINT-PÉTERSBOURG !!! Belgium logically won 2 goals to 0 against Finland and finished in first place in group B! A victory which also qualifies … France, now guaranteed to finish, in the worst case, among the best third.
Last changes for Finland. Jensen and Forss replace Pukki and Lod. Vanaken replaces De Bruyne for Belgium.
📊 Hradecky scored his own sixth goal since the start of the competition. A record.
Author of three goals since the start of the tournament, Romelu Lukaku leaves his place to Christian Benteke at the forefront of the attack.
⚽ BUUUUUUUT FOR BELGIUM !!! By Romelu Lukaku, of course. The Inter Milan striker achieves a focused control in the heart of the box and ignites Hradecky with a heavy strike. 2-0 for Belgium!
In the other group match, Denmark now leads 3 goals to 1 against Russia. And Belgium’s opening scorecard changes everything: Finland virtually slips to third place, Denmark is provisionally second and qualified.
After the opener, Roberto Martinez makes a double change. Thomas Meunier replaces Leandro Trossard, and Jérémy Doku gives way to Michy Batshuayi.
⚽ BUUUUUUUT FOR BELGIUM !! Thomas Vermaelen’s header from a corner ends its trajectory on the post. The ball bounces off Hradecky and crosses the line. 1-0 for Belgium!
In the revealing, Romelu Lukaku is indeed in an offside position with the tip of the shoe, a few small centimeters. Finland was hot …
❌ Goal denied for Belgium !!! Kevin De Bruyne finds Romelu Lukaku at the penalty spot, who wins his head-to-head with Hradecky. But the referee eventually signals an offside position, with the help of the VAR.
Big opportunity for Eden Hazard !!! The Belgian captain, well found in the heart of the Finnish area by Witsel, still stumbles on Hradecky!
First shot on target for Finland! Kamara tries his luck 16 meters behind Courtois’ goal, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper easily catches his shot.
In the other group match, Denmark has just doubled the stakes against Russia (2-0). Belgium and Finland therefore virtually occupy the first two places in the group.
Kevin De Bruyne quickly takes a corner. Eden Hazard takes the leather in the area, but Hradecky intervenes again.
Nacer Chadli’s low strike, after a poor clearance from the Finnish defense. It’s picked up by Hradecky.
De Bruyne finds Chadli who crosses from the entrance to the area, left side. But Lukaku is too short to take the ball back.
After the first more balanced moments, the match started again on the same bases, with a large Belgian domination. OL defender Jason Denayer tries his luck from afar. The balloon flies into the sky over St. Petersburg.
The cons for Belgium !! Romelu Lukaku transplanted from the left side and found De Bruyne in the box. The center of Trossard offers a corner to the Red Devils, which gives nothing.
Finland is restarting with better intentions. The men in white managed to penetrate twice in the Belgian area, without the possibility of shooting for the moment.
IT’S AGAIN IN SAINT-PÉTERSBOURG! No change to report. The kickoff is given by the Finns.
📊 Belgian domination is reflected in the figures. 60% possession of the ball for the Red Devils, who tried their luck 7 times (3 shots on target). No shooting recorded on the Finnish side.
For now, this draw is the business of both teams, while Denmark leads against Russia (1-0).
IT’S HALF TIME IN SAINT-PÉTERSBOURG! The Belgians largely dominate the debates but are struggling to create real opportunities. Lower and lower, the Finns resist the assaults.
Eden Hazard collapses in the Finnish area after a duel with O’Shaughnessy. The referee does not signal a fault.
Doku’s strike !! Kevin De Bruyne shifts the Stade Rennes winger to the left lane. Jérémy Doku transplanted in the axis and forced Hradecky to relax on his left. The biggest opportunity of the match!
In the other group match, Denmark has just opened the scoring against Russia (1-0). A goal that makes the business of Finland, virtually second in this group.
Lukaku’s head !! Magnificent pass from Kevin De Bruyne to the Belgian striker, who could not put enough force to deceive Hradecky.
Trossard’s turn to try his hand against Hradecky’s goals. The strike of the Belgian side flees the frame.
The Belgians are trying their luck more and more. Jérémy Doku then Axel Witsel try each other in turn but neither fit. It is getting closer for the Red Devils, but the Finns resist.
The Kevin De Bruyne – Romelu Lukaku connection continues to create danger in the Finnish defense. The center of the midfield this time does not find the head of the Inter Milan striker.
Finland has been in big trouble for ten minutes. The block moves back and the sequences of possession are becoming more and more rare.
Kevin De Bruyne Festival! The Manchester City midfielder feigned the strike and embedded itself in the Finnish area. His attempt at a cross was repulsed with difficulty by the Finnish defense. On recovery, Axel Witsel’s shot is picked up by Hradecky.
Bad recovery from Finland. Romelu Lukaku recovers the leather and searches for Eden Hazard, alone in the area. Toivio cuts the trajectory in extremis and pushes back the danger.
Lukaku’s strike right next door !! First fear for Finland. The Belgian striker is found in the depth on a sumptuous pass from Kevin De Bruyne, but misses the target. No regrets for the Red Devils: the flag had finally been raised.
Kevin De Bruyne tries to find Romelu Lukaku on a cross but the ball is easily caught by Hradecky.
Long possession streak for Finland. Well found in the box, Pukki procrastinates and can not try his luck against the return of De Bruyne.
Pohjanpalo tries to throw Pukki into Courtois’ box but the Finnish striker is penalized for a foul on Trossard.
Kevin De Bruyne tries to throw Rennais Doku deep, behind the Finnish defense. Arajuuri watches and lets the ball slip out of the goal.
Eden Hazard, finally holder in selection, combines with Lukaku at the entrance of the Finnish surface. The ball is lost.
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