Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a a lot-anticipated return to worldwide soccer nevertheless it was Romelu Lukaku who scored a hat trick as Belgium secured a 3-0 win over Sweden of their opening Group F European Championship qualifier on Friday.
The win on the Friends Arena gave new Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco the right begin as his facet search to bounce again kind a disappointing group-stage exit on the Qatar World Cup however Janne Andersson’s Sweden posed little menace.
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Dejan Kulusevski thought he had given the house facet the lead within the fifteenth minute as he minimize in from the proper and drove a low shot by means of the legs of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois however Wout Faes was readily available to cease the ball crossing the road.
Lukaku broke the impasse within the thirty fifth, outjumping Hjalmar Ekdal to move house a cross from the left by Dodi Lukebakio, who had tormented the Sweden defence from the kickoff.
The Belgium striker then took benefit of extra slack marking to double his facet’s benefit early within the second half as Lukebakio picked him out once more with a low cross which he turned in from shut vary.
The introduction of 41-yr-outdated Ibrahimovic within the 73rd minute after an extended absence because of harm prompted an ear-splitting roar from the group because the AC Milan striker turned the second-oldest participant to function in a European Championship qualifier.
Ibra’s first contact of be aware got here seven minutes later as he chested the ball down within the field however he misplaced his footing on the notoriously poor pitch at Sweden’s nationwide enviornment and the prospect was snuffed out.
Three minutes later Lukaku killed the sport off as the house defence suffered one other collective collapse, leaving him with one other faucet-in to finish his treble and a simple win for the guests.