Lukaku had an excellent game for Belgium as they beat Croatia in a World Cup group match. He scored two goals to take his total to 14 goals in 8 games in the tournament. Belgium had already qualified for the next round. But the win meant they finished first in Group F.
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku scored 4 goals in the first 20 minutes against Azerbaijan on Sunday. This helped Belgium cruise to a big 5-0 win in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
Lukaku was excellent, scoring 14 goals now in 8 games in the qualifying pool. Belgium had already qualified but the win secured them first place in Group F.
Azerbaijan finished fourth in the group with 7 points from their 8 matches. The game was played in windy conditions in Brussels.
Belgium dominated the game, leading 4-0 in just 37 minutes, thanks to an early red card for Azerbaijan’s Eddy Israfilov. Israfilov was sent off for a second booking after a reckless challenge on Lukaku.
The captain, Lukaku, played a key role, scoring and bringing his total international goals to 83 in 113 appearances. The home team continued their success, with Leandro Trossard adding a late fifth goal. Lukaku was substituted at halftime.
Belgium’s coach, Domenico Tedesco, remains unbeaten at the start of his tenure, with a victory extending his streak to 10 games. The team has won eight of those matches.
Despite missing several key players, including the injured Kevin De Bruyne, the team has regained confidence following a disappointing World Cup in Qatar.
Azerbaijan struggled to handle Belgium’s passing and movement, especially the strength of Lukaku in the front. Lukaku, who dominated the visitor’s defense, scored four precise goals.
The night had an odd beginning when the Swedish national anthem was played instead of Azerbaijan’s, causing confusion among the visitors and embarrassment for the home officials.
The first goal came in the 17th minute when Jeremy Doku, left unmarked on the edge of the box, delivered a cross easily headed into the net by Lukaku.
Seven minutes later, Azerbaijan’s evening worsened as Israfilov got a second yellow card, reducing their team to 10 men. He received both bookings within four hectic minutes.
Shortly afterward, Lukaku put the ball in the back of the net with a great finish into the bottom corner. Timothy Castagne’s header picked him out for the opportunity.
He finished his hat-trick 13 minutes after scoring his first, heading in Wout Faes’s cross. He then added a fourth, easily beating the goalkeeper after being fed by Orel Mangala in the box.
His 14 goals set a record for the most ever scored in the qualifiers for a single Euros campaign.
Not surprisingly, the game lost its intensity in the second half. However, Trossard scored a late fifth from close range, concluding a lively display from the Arsenal forward.