Lukaku on the right track as Belgium draw with Czech Republic


Romelu Lukaku’s second-half equaliser handed Belgium a 1-1 draw in opposition to the Czech Republic in a Group E World Cup qualifier in Prague on Saturday.

The sport performed behind closed doorways due to Covid-19 restrictions retains the hosts high on objective variations.

The Inter Milan striker scored on 61 minutes after fooling sweeper Ondrej Celustka with a mazy run and beating goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik to take his report worldwide tally to 59 targets in 91 caps.

Slavia Prague midfielder Lukas Provod despatched the house aspect 1-0 forward on 50 minutes with a scientific low right-footer from outdoors the field that slid into the underside left nook of Thibaut Courtois’s objective.

Belgium, the world primary ranked aspect, began in excessive spirits however Lukaku fired over the crossbar and Dries Mertens noticed his low shot parried away by Vaclik.

The hosts bought shut on 16 minutes when lone striker Michael Krmencik sprinted into the field and hit Courtois’s left put up with a low effort.

Belgium stored making an attempt because the rain stopped, however they did not beat Vaclik who did nicely to clear Leander Dendoncker’s blast earlier than stopping Timothy Castagne’s header from shut vary.

The Czechs dominated possession in many of the second half and got here shut once more six minutes from time when Jan Boril hit the crossbar.

On the opposite aspect, Kevin de Bruyne hit the put up on a counter-attack within the seventieth minute.

Simply earlier than the ultimate whistle, Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek noticed his header headed out of the objective off the goalline by Toby Alderweireld.

Each groups have been with out a number of Germany-based gamers together with Dortmund midfielders Thomas Meunier and Thorgan Hazard and Czech captain Vladimir Darida of Hertha Berlin.

They skipped the sport on issues they could have to enter quarantine after coming back from the Czech Republic deemed as a top-risk nation by Germany.

Belgium began the qualifying marketing campaign with a 3-1 win over Wales on Wednesday, whereas the Czechs prevailed 6-2 over Estonia.

Belgium at the moment are as a consequence of host Belarus on Tuesday whereas the Czech Republic will play in Wales on the identical day, each groups having the Germany-based gamers again for the ties.

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