Euro 2024 major upset: Slovakia stuns Belgium as Romelu Lukaku denied twice

Euro 2024 major upset: Slovakia stuns Belgium as Romelu Lukaku denied twice

Updated Jun. 17, 2024 2:32 p.m. ET

Romelu Lukaku had two goals ruled out via video review as Belgium slumped to the first major upset of Euro 2024, losing 1-0 to Slovakia in Frankfurt.

Lukaku put the ball in the net after 56 minutes and thought he had done enough to equalize following a goalward header from Amadou Onana — before the footage revealed he was offside.

The Roma forward was left dejected three minutes before the end when he again fired the ball past Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, only for it to be adjudged that Lois Openda had handled the ball in the build-up to the play.

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku's equalizer against Slovakia is disallowed after handball by Loïs Openda


Slovakia took the lead through Ivan Schranz after just seven minutes, with his goal eventually proving the difference between the teams.

Jeremy Doku gave the ball away in a dangerous position, Juraj Kucka' effort was parried by goalkeeper Koen Casteels and Schranz slid the ball into the net.

Belgium, ranked No. 3 in the world, could not find a way through and grew increasingly frustrated. Head coach Domenico Tedesco's squad had suffered a disrupted preparation to Euro 2024, and the omission of Real Madrid keeper Thibault Courtois now comes into even sharper focus.

Belgium vs. Slovakia Highlights | UEFA Euro 2024

Check out the top moments from this group-stage match between Belgium and Slovakia!

Kevin de Bruyne had a final chance for Belgium in injury time, with a powerful run into the box. But was forced wide and his strike was caught by Dubravka.

Slovakia's bench cleared at the final whistle as it wildly celebrated a hugely impressive win. In its third appearance at the Euros, this was Slovakia's third victory, and it ranks well clear of prior successes against Poland and Russia.

This defeat puts Belgium in a bind. It failed to progress from its group at the World Cup in 2022 and is now in danger of seeing its golden generation wind down with little more than a whimper.

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Belgium's chance to fight back into contention comes against Romania in Cologne on Saturday. Slovakia can clinch its spot in the Round of 16 and move into prime position to top the group if it can beat Ukraine in Dusseldorf on Friday.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.


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