Euro 2016

Lukaku scores twice as Belgium batter Ireland 3-0

Soccer Euro 2016 Belgium Ireland Belgium's Romelu Lukaku scores his side's third goal | AP

Victory was in stark contrast to Belgium's limp defeat in opening Euro match against Italy

Belgium rediscovered their most blistering form to batter group E rivals Ireland 3-0 thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku and an Axel Witsel header on Saturday.

The victory of the world's second-ranked team was in stark contrast to their limp defeat in their opening Euro 2016 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.

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.

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Topics : #Euro Cup 2016

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