Euro 2016: Lukaku scores twice as Belgium rediscover form to rout Ireland | uefa-euro-cup | Hindustan Times
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Euro 2016: Lukaku scores twice as Belgium rediscover form to rout Ireland

Belgium rediscovered their most blistering form to thrash group E rivals Republic of Ireland 3-0 in their Euro 2016 match in Bordeaux on Saturday, thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku and an Axel Witsel header.

euro 2016 Updated: Jun 18, 2016 20:51 IST
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, right, scores his side's third goal during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Belgium and Ireland at the Nouveau Stade in Bordeaux, France, Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, right, scores his side's third goal during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Belgium and Ireland at the Nouveau Stade in Bordeaux, France, Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)(AP)

Belgium rediscovered their most blistering form to thrash group E rivals Republic of Ireland 3-0 in their Euro 2016 match in Bordeaux on Saturday, thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku and an Axel Witsel header.

The victory of the world’s second-ranked team was in stark contrast to their limp defeat in their opening match against Italy.

Despite dominating the opening half, it still took until the opening minutes of the second period for Belgium to take the lead when Lukaku finished a counter-attack by rifling a shot into the far corner.

Ireland had a brief positive spell but Witsel made it two for Belgium with a pinpoint header after 61 minutes, and Lukaku completed the rout with a simple finish after another counter-attack nine minutes later.

Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring the second goal for Belgium. (AP)

With Italy having beaten both the Belgians and Sweden to win the group, the victory puts Belgium in second place on three points with the Irish and Sweden stuck on a point apiece.