Lukaku, Witsel lead Belgium in Euro 2016 rebound vs. Ireland
Belgium entered Euro 2016 with massive expectations, but after an opening loss to Italy, the pressure was on the Red Devils to beat Ireland in their second game of Group E and turn things around.
They did just that, getting a pair of second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and another from Axel Witsel to ease past the Irish, 3-0, in Bordeaux.
Belgium controlled the run of play in the first half but had nothing to show for it after a third consecutive scoreless half. That changed quickly into the second half, as Lukaku finished after being set up by Kevin De Bruyne in the 48th minute. Witsel doubled the lead in the 61st, heading home off a cross from Thomas Meunier, who was one of three changes to the Belgium lineup made by under-fire manager Marc Wilmots.
Lukaku scored his second in the 70th minute, with Eden Hazard doing the heavy lifting after a lengthy run down the right channel, fending off a hard challenge by the sideline. He picked out an unmarked Lukaku in the center of the box, and the Everton forward took his time to beat goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
Highlights of the goals are below:
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Belgium closes group play against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden, while Ireland gets a shot to be the first team to score on Italy in Wednesday's finales.