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Belgium's Euro 2024 Campaign Starts with a Bitter Defeat

Published on Jun, 18 2024

Here is our take

The disappointment was tangible as Kevin De Bruyne, visibly irked, exited the press conference following Belgium's narrow 1-0 loss to Slovakia, ranked 48th by FIFA.Belgium, touted as the third-best team globally, couldn't attribute their defeat to mere misfortune, with two disallowed goals reviewed by VAR. 

The squad struggled to muster creativity and sustained energy throughout the match.In stark contrast, Slovakia maneuvered through Belgium's defense with alarming ease, dominating in midfield and on the flanks. Onana and Mangala seemed overwhelmed by Slovakia's relentless attacks.

Troussard, the Arsenal midfielder, failed to leave an impact and was eventually substituted.Belgium's tactical shift to long balls in the second half proved fruitful, causing havoc in Slovakia's defense and resulting in a late goal by Lukaku, albeit ruled out for a handball in the build-up. Despite their efforts, Slovakia emerged victorious.The Belgians now face an uphill battle to recover from this setback as they aim to navigate through the group stage. Can they regroup and show their true potential in the games ahead?

Here is how the match played out

Belgium's Euro 2024 journey began on a sour note as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Slovakia, a team ranked 48th by FIFA. This unexpected setback was a significant blow for Belgium, who entered the tournament as the third-best team in the world.

 

The frustration was evident when Kevin De Bruyne, a key player for Belgium, left the press conference visibly upset after the match. The game was marked by controversy as Belgium had two goals disallowed after VAR reviews, adding to their mounting frustration.

 

Slovakia, on the other hand, executed a well-planned strategy, demonstrating superior control in midfield and on the flanks. Belgium's midfielders, Onana and Mangala, were overwhelmed by Slovakia's persistent attacks. Arsenal's Troussard also struggled to make an impact and was eventually substituted.

 

In the second half, Belgium attempted to change their approach by resorting to long balls, which initially seemed to disrupt Slovakia's defense. However, despite creating several opportunities, Belgium could not find the back of the net. Romelu Lukaku's late equalizer was disallowed due to a handball in the build-up, further adding to Belgium's woes.

 

The decisive moment came early in the match when Slovakia's Ivan Schranz scored, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Belgium managed 16 shots with five on target, but Slovakia's disciplined defense held firm, securing their victory.

 

This defeat means Belgium faces a challenging path ahead in the group stage. Their next match against Romania is crucial for their chances of progressing in the tournament. Slovakia, buoyed by their victory, will face Ukraine in their upcoming match.

 

For Belgium, the focus now shifts to regrouping and finding their form to stay in contention. The loss to Slovakia has undoubtedly set a challenging tone for their Euro 2024 campaign, and their ability to bounce back will be critical in the matches ahead.

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