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Romelu Lukaku scores hat-trick for Belgium, Kylian Mbappe helps France crush Netherlands in his first game as captain

Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick as Belgium began a new era with a 3-0 victory in Sweden.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe (Source: Twitter)

On Friday, Kylian Mbappe scored twice in France’s 4-0 demolition of the Netherlands in Euro 2024 qualifying, while Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick as Belgium began a new era with a 3-0 victory in Sweden. In Paris, France was three goals up before the halftime break in their Group B opener against a virus-ravaged Dutch team.

Mbappe, who has replaced long-serving captain Hugo Lloris, set up his vice-captain Antoine Griezmann to score inside two minutes at the Stade de France. In the eighth minute, Griezmann’s free-kick was bundled in from close range by Dayot Upamecano after Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen failed to clear the danger.

After Randal Kolo Muani had cleverly left an Aurelien Tchouameni through ball, Mbappe ran through to make it 3-0, and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar sealed the win in emphatic fashion late on. Mike Maignan, France’s new first-choice keeper, saved a stoppage-time Memphis Depay penalty to cap off a perfect evening for Les Bleus.

“We didn’t want to disappoint our fans. This was our first game back here after the World Cup and we really wanted to pick up where we left off there, except for the final,” Mbappe, who now has 38 goals in 67 appearances for his country, told the broadcasters.

Romelu Lukaku helps Belgium win against Serbia

Belgium were eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage, and Roberto Martinez was replaced as coach by Domenico Tedesco. He couldn’t have asked for a better debut, as Inter Milan forward Lukaku scored all three goals in Group F away in Sweden.

Lukaku opened the scoring in 35 minutes with a header and then scored with a tap-in off Victor Lindeloef early in the second half after being set up by Dodi Lukebakio. Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench for Sweden before Lukaku made it 3-0 with another simple finish.

“To take three points and score three goals in Sweden is never easy for any team,” Tedesco told Belgium’s RTBF.


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