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Slovakia Shocks Highest Ranked Belgium In Euro 2024 Opener

  • June 17, 2024
  • 2 min read
Slovakia Shocks Highest Ranked Belgium In Euro 2024 Opener

In a stunning upset, 48th-ranked Slovakia defeated heavily favored Belgium 1-0 in their opening match of Euro 2024 on Monday.

Slovakia took an early lead in the seventh minute. Slovakian forward Ivan Shranz capitalized on a rebound from Koen Casteels’ save, putting the ball past the Belgian goalkeeper’s legs.

Despite conceding early, Belgium’s Kasteels demonstrated impressive concentration with a superb save in the 39th minute, denying a well-struck half volley from Lukas Haraslin.

Minutes later, Belgium nearly equalized. Yannick Carrasco sent a brilliant through ball to Romelu Lukaku, but the AS Roma striker lost control in a one-on-one situation.

The first half ended with both teams playing aggressively, with the intensity rising steadily. However, Slovakia held a surprising edge over Belgium with their impressive short passing game.

Belgium’s celebrations were short-lived ten minutes into the second half. They thought they had found the equalizer through Lukaku, but a VAR intervention ruled the goal out for offside.

Unlike the first half, Belgium dominated possession in the second half, posing a serious attacking threat. They repeatedly tested the Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, with one chance cleared off the line.

Belgium continued to threaten with their increasingly fluid passing and linkup play, but almost cursed, another Lukaku goal was disallowed in the 87th minute. A VAR review revealed a handball in the build-up to Belgium’s attack.

Slovakia secured a historic victory, one of their greatest in recent times. They currently lead Group E of Euro 2024, marking only their second time they won the European Championship match after doing so in 2016.

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Samkelo Biyela

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