Lukaku’s brace helps Belgium defeat Estonia 3-0 in European qualifying

In European Championship qualifying, Romelu Lukaku showcased his scoring prowess by netting two goals within a span of three minutes, leading Belgium to a resounding 3-0 win over Estonia. This crucial win came at a time when the Belgian team was seeking redemption after a tumultuous period.

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Lukaku broke the deadlock in an otherwise uneventful first half-hour with a clever flick, providing Belgium with the opening goal. He then displayed his clinical finishing skills to double Belgium’s lead shortly thereafter.

With these two goals, Lukaku’s international goal tally stands at an impressive 75 in 108 appearances. Additionally, Johan Bakayoko, making his first start for Belgium, contributed to the team’s triumph by scoring the third goal in the 90th minute.

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This result ensured that Belgium maintained their unbeaten record in Group F, sitting three points behind the group leader, Austria, with a game in hand.

Anything less than a victory would have cast doubt over Belgium’s campaign following their 1-1 draw against Austria at home the previous weekend. The team faced further upheaval when their goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, abruptly departed from the squad due to a disagreement over the captaincy.

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To fill Courtois’ void, Mats Selz of Strasbourg stepped in as the starting goalkeeper, while Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco continued his trend of making changes to the lineup, implementing five alterations compared to the team that faced Austria.

In the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne, Mike Tresor, hailed as the best player in the Belgian league this season, operated behind Lukaku. Bakayoko provided additional attacking threat from the right flank, and midfielder Aster Vranckx earned a place in the starting lineup.

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Initially, the lineup adjustments did not yield immediate results as Belgium struggled to find their rhythm, lacking technical precision and encountering difficulties in penetrating Estonia’s compact midfield.

Lukaku had minimal involvement in the game during the first 15 minutes at Le Coq Arena. He had his first opportunity in the 17th minute during a counterattack, but his shot lacked power and failed to surprise Estonia goalkeeper Karl Hein.

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As the visitors struggled to regain possession, Belgium enjoyed more space, eventually breaking the deadlock in the 37th minute when Lukaku connected with a cross from Vranckx on the right side. Three minutes later, Lukaku demonstrated his accuracy from close range once again, capitalising on a cross from the left.

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Belgium maintained control in the second half, and Bakayoko added a touch of brilliance to the victory by showcasing excellent ball control before precisely striking the ball between two defenders.

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