UEFA Nations League: Romelu Lukaku's double lifts the mood in Belgium

Belgium play the Netherlands in a friendly in Brussels on Tuesday while the Swiss go to Iceland for their next Nations League game on Monday.

UEFA Nations League: Romelu Lukaku's double lifts the mood in Belgium
Pic Courtesy: Reuters

Romelu Lukaku scored twice to earn Belgium a 2-1 victory over Switzerland in the Nations League on Friday, lifting the mood in the country after a week marred by match-fixing allegations.

Belgium`s second win in the group means they have won 11 of their last 12 matches, the only blemish being the World Cup semi-final defeat by France in July. Lukaku broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, finding himself unmarked on the right as Thomas Meunier set him up for a left-foot shot that squeezed under the body of Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

But the Belgian defence were caught ball watching with about 15 minutes left as Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick was headed back into the danger zone by Nico Elvedi and finished off from close range by substitute Mario Gavranovic. Belgium defender Vincent Kompany went close with a headed opportunity from a corner and Lukaku blasted over from close range after being set up by substitute Nacer Chadli.

But the Manchester United striker made amends with the 84th- minute winner at the end of a flowing move which involved captain Eden Hazard and a deft pass from Dries Mertens to set Lukaku up for another left-foot finish. Lukaku’s double, which lifted him to 45 goals in 78 internationals, ensured a bright end to a bad week for Belgian football in which 19 people, including two referees, soccer agents and the coach of champions Club Bruges, were charged on Friday with fraud or match-fixing. 

Belgium play the Netherlands in a friendly in Brussels on Tuesday while the Swiss go to Iceland for their next Nations League game on Monday.