BEL vs ROU, Euro 2024: Belgium locks horns with a fiery Romanian side

Belgium, after a surprise defeat to Slovakia will look to get back to winning ways as they get set to face a confident Romanian side riding on the back of a dominating victory.

Published : Jun 21, 2024 19:38 IST , HAMBURG - 2 MINS READ

Belgium players pose for a group photo before their match against Slovakia
Belgium players pose for a group photo before their match against Slovakia | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Belgium players pose for a group photo before their match against Slovakia | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Belgium has sought to project an image of calm after losing its opening game at the European Championship but must be worried about yet another early tournament elimination as it prepares to face Romania in Cologne on Saturday.


A surprise defeat to Slovakia has Belgium on the back foot in Group E and they now face a buoyant Romania, who stunned Ukraine 3-0 on Monday.

“I can’t tell the team much about what needed to be better,” said coach Domenico Tedesco after their loss, where missed opportunities came back to haunt the much-fancied Belgians.

Jan Vertonghen said Belgium certainly have the players to get a result.

“I would be worried if we didn’t have the quality, so I’m confident we will score on Saturday,” added the veteran defender in the build-up to the game.

Despite that confidence Belgium will be fretting over the potential for another early exit after crashing out at the first hurdle at the World Cup in Qatar less than two years ago.

ALSO READ: SVK vs UKR, Euro 2024: Slovakia aims to back up Belgium shock, Ukraine seeks redemption

Given the array of quality at its disposal, and after going through the qualifiers unbeaten, Belgium would be expected to advance but top scorer Romelu Lukaku needs to find his range while captain Kevin De Bruyne must increase the tempo in the midfield if it is to dominate Romania.

Victory over Ukraine was only the second time that Romania has won a match at a European Championship and came 24 years after its first -- a 3-2 win over England at Euro 2000.

Captain and Man of the Match Nicolae Stanciu set it on its way to a memorable triumph over Ukraine in its opener on Monday with a cracking long-range strike and he will have added motivation to try to repeat that against Belgium.

Romania, which has other potential match winners such as Denis Dragus and Valentin Mihaila, went through the qualifying campaign unbeaten and finished top of its group ahead of Switzerland and has lost only once in its past 16 games.

“This is the generation of the soul - this team has put the biggest effort into everything,” Romania coach Edward Iordanescu said after they beat Ukraine.

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