France run riot over Netherlands; Lukaku hat-trick downs Sweden | OneFootball

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Adam Booker·24 March 2023

France run riot over Netherlands; Lukaku hat-trick downs Sweden

Article image:France run riot over Netherlands; Lukaku hat-trick downs Sweden

There were eight There were eight 2024 European Championship qualifiers on Thursday as the first round of fixtures continued to roll on, and this is what went down.

France run riot in Netherlands drubbing

Scorers: Griezmann 2′, Upamecano 8′, Mbappé 21′ 88′

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France kicked off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a dominant victory over the Netherlands, snatching the top spot in Group B.

France got off to a flying start as newly appointed captain Kylian Mbappe found his vice captain Antoine Griezmann on the edge of the box, and the pink-haired forward stabbed home for the opener.

It quickly got even better for the hosts when Dayot Upamecano bundled home France’s second on the night from a set-piece, stunning the Dutch visitors in front of a raucous home crowd.

The tie was all but put to bed before the 25 minute mark when a superb Randal Kolo Muani dummy played in Mbappé, who slotted in a third French strike in style.

With their three goal lead intact, the French put their foot on the ball and slowed the tempo down. To cap it off, a late Mbappé strike took the roof off of the Stade de France to round off the rampant French performance.

Lukaku bags three to see Belgium soar past Sweden

Scorers: Lukaku 35′, 49′, 82′

A Romelu Lukaku hat-trick pushed Belgium to a comfortable opening round victory in Euro 2024 qualifying Group F, ushering in a new era of Red Devil football.

It was a back and forth affair from the opening whistle, with both sides trading chances.

Dejan Kulusevski saw his chance cleared off the line in the opening exchanges, seeing Belgium narrowly avoid a disastrous start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

The opening blow was finally landed in the final ten minutes of the first half, as Dodi Lukebakio picked out Romelu Lukaku with an inch-perfect cross, and the big man nodded home with aplomb to snatch a late lead for Belgium.

Lukebakio picked up right where he left off on the other side of the break, linking up with Lukaku once again to double Belgium’s lead immediately after the restart.

The Swedes struggled to claw their way back into the game, even with the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimović late in the second half.

Despite having come into the night without a goal for Belgium since October 2021, Lukaku secured his hat-trick late on to drive the final nail in the Swedish coffin

The late strike was the icing on top of Belgium’s quality opening round win in Group F to kick off the Domenico Tedesco era.

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