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Late drama as Slovakia shock Belgium at Euro 2024

By BBC
Football News More misery for Belgium at an international tournament / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
MON, 17 JUN 2024 LISTEN
More misery for Belgium at an international tournament / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Slovakia caused an upset in their Euro 2024 opener as they stunned Group E favourites Belgium in a chaotic encounter in Frankfurt.

There was drama in the final minutes as Romelu Lukaku thought he had equalised, only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to rule it out for handball in the build-up.

It was the second goal he had scored that had been ruled out by VAR after earlier poking in a header across goal from Amadou Onana.

Ivan Schranz put Slovakia ahead when he capitalised on a mistake at the back by Manchester City's Jeremy Doku, stunning Belgium, ranked third in the world - Slovakia are 45 places below in 48th.

After missing countless chances throughout, several falling to all-time top scorer Lukaku, Belgium eventually left empty-handed.

In a topsy-turvy 90 minutes, substitute Johan Bakayoko was denied by a superb goalline clearance from Slovakia's David Hancko.

Lukaku's frustrations grew as chances kept passing by - the best coming within three minutes after Doku had gone on a spectacular run down the right.

Belgium's inability to grasp control meant they trailed at the break, with Doku's costly mistake helping Slovakia get the upper hand.

Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne remained a threat, while Arsenal's Leandro Trossard curled an effort over the bar following a poor clearance from goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Lukas Haraslin also came close on occasions for Slovakia, fizzing a superbly executed volley towards goal which needed saving by Koen Casteels, before placing another strike wide in the second half.

Belgium, who exited the 2022 World Cup at the group stage, must respond when they take on Romania next - a side who recorded a stunning 3-0 win over Ukraine in the other match on Monday afternoon.

As Belgium travel to Cologne on Saturday looking to regain ground, Slovakia face Ukraine, no doubt buoyed by their perfect start to Euro 2024.

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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