Sports Desk, Jun 21 (EFE).- Finland held potent Belgium scoreless for more than an hour Monday in their Euro 2020 Group B match, but the Red Devils ultimately broke through to prevail 2-0 and end the group stage with all 9 points.
The Belgians were assured of winning the group regardless of the outcome in Saint Petersburg, while the Finns began the contest knowing that they could tighten their grip on second place with a draw.
Playing in a major tournament for the first time, Finland defended tenaciously and even created some chances.
Belgium appeared to take the lead in the 66th minute when Lukaku beat goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, only to see the goal disallowed for an offside.
Eight minutes later, Thomas Vermaelen’s header off a corner hit the inside of the cross-bar before deflecting off Hradecky’s back and into the net.
Lukaku was not to be denied, scoring in the 81st minute with an assist from Kevin de Bruyne.
Even with the defeat, Finland would have retained second place and the accompanying ticket to the knockout stage if not for Denmark’s defeating Russia 4-1.
Finland and Denmark ended the group stage level on points at 3, but the Danes had a positive goal difference, compared with a deficit for Finland, who must now wait to find out if they will qualify for the next round as one of the four best third-place teams. EFE