Late Romelu Lukaku equaliser saves Belgium from loss to Finland

Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky finally beaten after string of fine saves

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring a late equaliser against Finland in the friendly international  at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. Photograph:  Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring a late equaliser against Finland in the friendly international at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

 

Belgium 1 Finland 1

Belgium avoided an embarrassing loss to Finland in their penultimate friendly ahead of Euro 2016 when substitute striker Romelu Lukaku scored a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw in Brussels on Wednesday.

Lukaku struck in the last minute of the game for the world’s second-ranked team, chesting the ball past Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky who had made a string of important saves for the visitors.

“It was difficult. We created a lot of chances and then we had an unlucky moment against us. We really should have won,” Lukaku told Belgian TV.

Belgium started with a changed forward line compared to last week’s friendly against Switzerland with manager Marc Wilmots choosing Michy Batshuayi alongside Divock Origi over Dries Mertens and Lukaku.

The hosts piled on the pressure early in the match and Finland rarely crossed the halfway line but Hredecky made several good saves and Batshuayi headed against the post.

Against the run of play, Finland took the lead when Kasper Hamalainen scored past Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the 53rd minute, sparking a chorus of disapproving whistles from the Belgian crowd.

“All teams seem to defend against us and wait for their one chance,” Lukaku said.

Wilmots reacted immediately by bringing on Mertens and Christian Benteke for Batshuayi and Origi and the introduction of a third striker in Lukaku finally produced the equaliser.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.