Belgium, Netherlands win final pre-Euro friendlies

White replaces Alexander-Arnold in England squad

Afp, Paris

8 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Belgium and the Netherlands completed their Euro 2020 preparations on Sunday with respective wins over Croatia and Georgia.

Belgium, the world's top-ranked side, beat the 2018 World Cup runners up 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from in-form Romelu Lukaku, fresh from winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan.

Roberto Martinez's side will be one of the favourites to win what would be their first ever major international trophy and line up in Group B alongside Denmark, Finland and Russia.

Holding off three Croatia defenders, Lukaku unleashed a curling shot which looked to be heading in before it crashed out off the bar, with Yannick Carrasco's header on the rebound also thudding onto the woodwork.

However he gave his side the lead seven minutes later when he pounced following confusion in the Croatia penalty area and lashed home his 60th international goal.

The Dutch had an easier time of it with a 3-0 win over Georgia.

Frank de Boer's team will be aiming to make a big impression at their first major tournament since the 2014 World Cup and play all their Group C matches with Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia in Amsterdam.

They took the lead in the 10th minute through a Memphis Depay penalty and the Lyon forward was unlucky not to double his tally six minutes later, with Giorgi Loria pulling off a marvellous save to deny him.

Denmark also go into the tournament on a high after seeing off Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 in Brondby.

Austria drew 0-0 with Slovakia while Scotland scraped a 1-0 win over 10-man Luxembourg ahead of their first major international tournament appearance for 23 years.

England head coach Gareth Southgate has chosen Ben White to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in England's squad after an impressive performance in the 1-0 win over Romania.

The 23-year-old Brighton central defender made his international debut in the 1-0 friendly win over Austria last week and backed that up in Sunday's match against the Romanians.


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