Slovakia stuns Belgium 1-0 in Euro 2024 Group E clash as Austria falls to France

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18th June 2024 – (Berlin) Slovakia delivered a major upset in Group E by defeating Belgium 1-0 in a thrilling Euro 2024 encounter. Ivan Schranz’s early goal proved decisive, securing all three points for Slovakia. Despite dominating possession from the start, Belgium squandered several opportunities, with Romelu Lukaku failing to beat Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from close range. The Belgians paid the price for their wastefulness when Schranz tapped in a rebound from a tight angle, beating Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels in the seventh minute.

Although Belgium pressed for an equalizer, Slovakia remained dangerous on counterattacks, with Lukas Haraslin’s powerful volley testing Casteels just before halftime. Belgium thought they had levelled the score, but Lukaku’s goal was disallowed by VAR due to an offside decision. Another goal by Lukaku was also ruled out due to a handball by Lois Openda.

Slovakia’s head coach, Francesco Calzona, expressed his delight with the victory, emphasizing the need to maintain focus for the upcoming matches. In the other Group E fixture, Romania delivered a flawless performance, securing a 3-0 victory over Ukraine with goals from Nicolae Stanciu, Razvan Marin, and Denis Dragus. As a result, Romania currently tops Group E, followed by Slovakia, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in Group D, France emerged victorious with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Austria. The opening goal came courtesy of an own goal by Austria’s Maximilian Wober, who inadvertently headed Kylian Mbappe’s cross into his team’s net. Despite Austria’s efforts to equalize, France’s well-organised defence held firm, frustrating Ralf Rangnick’s team.

With the victory, France joins the Netherlands at the top of Group D, while Austria finds themselves at the bottom of the standings. France defender Dayot Upamecano praised his team’s solid defensive performance and expressed satisfaction with the hard-fought triumph.