Lukaku's Brilliance: Belgium's 5-0 Victory Over Azerbaijan in Euro 2024 Qualifier
|Romelu Lukaku of Belgium celebrates after scoring his teams fourth goal during the Group F - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers match between Belgium and Azerbaijan at King Baudouin Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.(Image-Getty)|
In a dominating display, striker Romelo Lukaku showcased clinical finishing, scoring four goals in the first half as Belgium cruised to a resounding 5-0 victory over 10-man Azerbaijan in a Euro 2024 Group F qualifier in Brussels. Lukaku's spectacular performance propelled already-qualified Belgium to the top spot in the group, while Azerbaijan finished in fourth place with seven points from eight games.
The match took an unexpected turn when Azerbaijan's Eddy Israfilov received an early red card for a second booking, a wild lunge on Lukaku. This setback paved the way for Belgium's early dominance, with the home side securing a 4-0 lead within 37 minutes.
Leandro Trossard added a late fifth goal, but the spotlight was on captain Lukaku, who scored 14 goals in eight games during the qualifying campaign. Lukaku, with 83 international goals in 113 appearances, was substituted at halftime, capping off a remarkable individual performance.
Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco extended his unbeaten run to 10 games at the start of his reign, winning eight of those matches. The team's confidence, despite the absence of key players like the injured Kevin De Bruyne, has returned after a disappointing World Cup in Qatar.
Azerbaijan struggled to cope with Belgium's passing, movement, and Lukaku's powerful presence upfront. The night began on a peculiar note when the Swedish national anthem played instead of Azerbaijan's, adding a bizarre element to the proceedings.
The scoring commenced in the 17th minute when Jeremy Doku's cross found an unmarked Lukaku, heading the ball easily into the net. Israfilov's second yellow card reduced Azerbaijan to 10 men, further intensifying Belgium's dominance. Lukaku continued his goal-scoring spree with a fine finish, a header, and a clinical fourth goal, making his total of 14 goals the highest ever scored in the qualifiers for a single Euros campaign.
The second half saw a subdued pace, but Trossard's late goal from close range added to Belgium's commanding performance. Overall, Lukaku's exceptional display and Belgium's comprehensive victory marked a significant step forward in their Euro 2024 qualification journey.