Belgium wrapped up their preparations for the Euros with a slender 1-0 friendly victory over Croatia in Brussels. Romelu Lukaku scored the lone goal of the match as the Inter Milan striker pounced on a loose ball inside the area to net his side’s winner in the first-half.
The Red Devils were in control for most of the game and tried more attempts too. However, they couldn’t find a way past Zlatko Dalic’s side until Lukaku found the breakthrough, volleying home from point-blank range.
The Vatreni, at the other end, produced a few nervy moments after the break with Bruno Petkovic and Josep Brekalo both coming close to finding an equalizer for the visitors.
With both friendlies done and dusted for Belgium and Croatia, the sides now turn their attention towards the Euros next week. Belgium will play Russia in their opener, and Croatia will take on England.
Here are the hits and flops from the match.
Hit: Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
Romelu Lukaku was sporting a new look, trading his beard for a clean shave, but there were no surprises in his performance. The prolific striker is only just coming off the back of a historic campaign with Inter Milan. He continued in the same vein and netted a first-half goal which secured the match for his side.
A corner being laid into the box resulted in a scramble with the ball somehow bouncing towards Lukaku. The striker then volleyed home from just five yards away for his 60th international strike with the Red Devils. And he’s still just 28!
A potential Golden Boot winner at the Euros?
Flop: Bruno Petkovic (Croatia)
Bruno Petkovic led the line for Vatreni but was unsuccessful. In fact, he rarely posed a threat in the Belgian half besides a pair of tame efforts after the break that were safely kept out by Thibaut Courtois.
It’s true that the striker was devoid of proper service too, but on the other hand, looked toothless when he was closer to the goal. Petkovic missed a chance to stake a claim for the striker’s role at the Euros, though his terrific record with Croatia might still convince Dalic to start him.