Former Manchester United and Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace to help Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in their EURO 2020 opening match.
The 28-year-old opened the scoring after 10 minutes pouncing on a mistake by Andrey Semenov and dedicated his goal to his Inter Milan teammate Christian Eriksen who collapsed during Denmark VS Finland match in Copenhagen. He celebrated his goal by shouting “Chris, Chris, I love you” in front of a television camera.
Belgium doubled their lead after half hour mark when substitute Thomas Meunier – an early replacement for injured Leicester defender Timothy Castagne – slotted home capitalizing on Anton Shunin goalkeeping mistake.
In-form Lukaku sealed a comfortable win 3-0 by scoring his team’s third goal with a composed finish in the closing stages to send Belgium top of group B with three points after one match.
In an earlier match, Finland marked their first appearance at a major tournament with a 1-0 win over Denmark but their opening Euro 2020 Group B match was overshadowed by the collapse of Christian Eriksen.
The match at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen was suspended shortly before half-time after Inter midfielder Eriksen collapsed to the ground with no one around him. The 29-year-old was carried from the pitch, but positive news followed with the Danish Football Union stating Eriksen was “awake” and set for “further examinations” after being taken to hospital.
Both sets of players decided to resume the game after more than 100 minutes away from the pitch, with Joel Pohjanpalo sealing an historic triumph for Finland shortly before the hour mark against an understandably deflated Denmark side, who missed a late penalty through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Denmark face Group B heavyweights Belgium in Copenhagen on Thursday , while Finland take on Russia in St. Petersburg a day earlier.