EURO 2020: De Bruyne, Lukaku star as Belgium break Danish hearts
Kevin de Bruyne celebrates putting Belgium 2-1 up against Denmark in their Group b Euro 2020 Championship clash in Copenhagen. Photo: Reuters

By Temisan Amoye

Super-sub Kevin de Bruyne inspired Belgium with a smashing goal and assist to a 2-1 win over Denmark in their Group B Euro 2020 championship clash.

Playing his first game since suffering an injury in Man City’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea in May, de Bruyne provided the much-needed spark Belgium needed after falling 1-0 behind to an early Denmark goal.

RB Leipzig striker Yousuf Poulsen sent Denmark into the lead in the 2nd minute of play. Pierre-Emile Hojberg pounced on a loose Denayer pass to send Poulsen through, who drilled a low shot beyond Courtois in goal.

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The Danes could have gone ahead in the fifth minute, with Maehle embarking on a jinxing run, and found himself well placed to set up Martin Braithwaite for an easy tap-in, instead he opted to go at goal, shooting directly at Courtois. The Danes pressed for another goal and came close with Daniel Wass directing a header at Courtois, who made an easy save.

Play stopped in the 10th minute, with everyone in the stadium applauding Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen who suffered an on-field cardiac arrest against Finland last Saturday.

Belgium failed to assert themselves in the game and were lucky not to fall two goals behind when Mikkel Damsgaard curled an effort just wide of the Belgian goal in the 35th minute.

Belgian boss Roberto Martinez sent on De Bruyne at the start of half-time to change the fortunes of the Red Devils, a move which paid off in the 55th minute. A dazzling piece of play started by Lukaku who won MoTM, and finished off by Thorgan Hazard brought the Belgians level.

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Lukaku utilising his pace and power skipped away from a high line Belgian defence, teed de Bruyne whose dummy took out two Belgian defenders before squaring up Thorgan Hazard to put Belgium level.

De Bruyne would go one step further, scoring a brilliant strike. A fine exchange of passes involving Lukaku, Tielemans, and Eden Hazard laying off De Bruyne who unleashed a superb effort to beat Schmeichel at his near post.

Braithwaite nearly pulled Denmark three minutes from time, a looping header from the Barcelona striker saw Courtois rooted to the spot but failed to beat the crossbar.

The result sees Martinez’s Belgium who are considered favourites maintain a perfect start to Euro 2020 after two matches. Denmark on the other hand have dropped all points in their two games, with the Danes left to rue missed chances against the Red Devils

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