Belgium vs Slovakia

Three Missed Chances and Two Disallowed Goals, Romelu Lukaku Suffers from VAR in Belgium vs Slovakia Group E Opener

It was a sorrowful start for Belgium at the Euro 2024 as they crumbled to a 1-0 defeat to Slovakia in their opening match on Monday (June 17). The golden generation of Belgium, which is now in transition still had the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. Still, they were nowhere near their best against Slovakia where they also had two goals ruled out which added to their wounds. With still two matches in hand, the Red Devils will now have to buckle up if they are to reach the next round.

Lukaku’s goals ruled out

After starting on the front foot in the match, Belgium were shocked to concede a goal in the seventh minute when Ivan Schranz scored for Slovakia. The goal came against the run of play which put Lukaku and Co on the back foot and needing to chase the game for the remaining time. The score would remain in favour of Slovakia at halftime as Domenico Tedesco’s side searched for an important equaliser.

Their opportunity would eventually come in the 56th minute when Lukaku received a cross which was converted by the former Manchester United striker. However, upon review, the goal was deemed offside as Lukaku was standing in an offside position when the pass was delivered. This would see Belgium still search for an equaliser and try to get off the mark at the Euro 2024.

Belgium lost Group E opener 1-0 to Slovakia (Credit: Getty)
Belgium lost the Group E opener 1-0 to Slovakia (Credit: Getty)

Their opportunity would eventually come in the 86th minute when Loïs Openda found Lukaku through on goal which was converted by the Belgian No.9. However, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) would again play an important part as it found Openda handling the ball while passing it to Lukaku. Handball in the build-up to the goal saw it being ruled out and it was the second time unlucky for Belgium as their poor day continued. They would fail to find the equalising goal for the rest of the match which saw Slovakia earn a major win against a team that won a Bronze medal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Belgium’s tough run of fixtures

The win currently sees Belgium third in Group E despite their defeat as Ukraine lost 3-0 to Romania in the other group match. Belgium will next face Romania on Saturday (June 22) with at least a draw required to avoid another group stage exit from a major competition. The Red Devils will end their group campaign against Ukraine on Wednesday (June 26).

Also Read: Why did VAR disallow Romelu Lukaku’s second goal in Belgium vs Slovakia?