Friday, December 4, 2020
Sports

Romelu Lukaku double sends Belgium into Nations League final four

Nations League 2
Lukaku celebrates scoring Belgium's third goal with teammates. PHOTO: REUTERS

LEUVEN, November 19: Romelu Lukaku underlined his status as Belgium’s key attacker with two goals to help his team book their place in next year’s Nations League finals with a 4-2 home victory over Denmark on Wednesday.
Lukaku extended his record scoring form for his country with a second-half double as Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne also netted for Belgium.
Denmark scored through Jonas Wind after 17 minutes, heading home from close range, and Belgium gifted them a second with a comical own goal credited to keeper Thibaut Courtois four minutes from time.
Belgium finished five points clear at the top of League A Group 2 and will meet world champions France and former World Cup winners Italy and Spain in the final four next October.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s late winner seals Dutch comeback win over Poland
Captain Georginio Wijnaldum scored a late winner as the Netherlands rallied from a goal down to beat Poland 2-1 in Nations League A Group 1 in Chorzow on Wednesday.
Kamil Jozwiak scored a scintillating solo goal to put Poland in front early, but Memphis Depay equalised for the visitors from the penalty spot, before Wijnaldum added to his two goals against Bosnia at the weekend to head home the winner.
Italy’s victory in Bosnia meant neither side could top the pool, but the Netherlands finished second with 11 points from six matches, one behind the Italians, with Poland third on seven.
The home side made the perfect start with a stunning individual effort from Jozwiak, who was sent into open space by Robert Lewandowski. The winger showed admirable pace to outstrip the defence and beat two defenders before a neat finish past Tim Krul in the Dutch goal.
Wijnaldum should have equalised when his run into the box left him with just Lukasz Fabianski to beat, but the midfielder’s shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
The Dutch had an even better chance when Donyell Malen placed his free header from seven yards wide of goal when it seemed easier to score.
Przemyslaw Placheta struck the post from a tight angle as Poland continued to use their pace to get behind the defence in what was a frenetic opening.
Fabianski’s fingertips denied Depay in the second half, but the forward blasted home his penalty on 77 minutes after a foul on Wijnaldum by Poland defender Jan Bednarek.
The Dutch skipper then netted the winner, heading in Steven Berghuis’s corner to seal back-to-back wins for new coach Frank de Boer. (Reuters)

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