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Belgium kick-start their Euro 2024 campaign with vital win over Romania

Belgium got their Euro 2024 campaign up and running (Frank Augstein/AP)
Belgium got their Euro 2024 campaign up and running (Frank Augstein/AP)

Belgium kick-started their Euro 2024 campaign with a vital 2-0 win over Romania in Group E.

The Red Devils were stunned by Slovakia in the opening game but Youri Tielemans’ strike after 73 seconds and Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half effort got them up and running.

It leaves Group E finely poised, with all four teams on three points after two games, with Belgium topping the table ahead of their game with Ukraine.

Tielemans gave his side the perfect start by scoring the third-fastest goal in European Championship history when he drilled Romelu Lukaku’s lay-off home from the edge of the area.

Tottenham defender Radu Dragusin brought a fine save out of Koen Casteels as Romania chased a quick response but Belgium had enough first-half chances to have the game wrapped up.

Dodi Lukebakio forced a flying save from Florin Nita, with Jan Vertonghen flashing the resulting corner over while Nita also denied the dangerous Jeremy Doku.

Aston Villa midfielder Tielemans scored the third fastest European Championship goal
Aston Villa midfielder Tielemans scored the third-fastest European Championship goal (Martin Meissner/AP)

De Bruyne flashed a curling effort inches wide as Belgium chased that elusive second goal which they thought arrived midway through the second half.

Lukaku raced clear and coolly converted to spark wild scenes of celebration, but they were cut short by a VAR ruling of offside – the third goal Lukaku has seen disallowed in the tournament.

Casteels had to make a fine save to deny Dennis Man as Romania had a rare attack but Belgium wrapped it up 11 minutes from time.

Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne raced on to a long ball and bravely slid home to send his side top of Group E as their recovery from the Slovakia defeat was completed.