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Euro 2024: Belgium back on track as Ronaldo’s Portugal ease past Turkey into R16

 

BELGIUM defeated Romania 2-0 tonight to secure their first victory of the Euro 2024 European Championship, three hours after Portugal thrashed Turkey 3-0 to earn a round of 16 spot.

Youri Tielemans scored early and Kevin De Bruyne netted late in Cologne, Germany to give Belgium the victory that took them to second place in Group E.

The Red Devils had lost their opening match to Slovakia, who lost yesterday to Ukraine, leaving all four teams tied on three points after two rounds of matches.

Earlier in the evening, Portugal outclassed Turkey to earn their place in the round 16 with six points from two matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portuguese side, who won the European title in 2016, lived up to their status as one of the favourites, with Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes scoring the first and third goals.

Ronaldo assisted his former clubmate Fernandes for the third goal to record his eighth assist since his first appearance at Euro 2004, the most by any player in the competition’s history.

Portugal’s second goal in the 28th minute was a gift from Turkey as Samet Akaydin’s attempted back pass rolled beyond the reach of goalkeeper Altay Bayindir and crossed the line despite the desperate efforts of Zeki Celik to clear.

In the first match of the day, Georgia got their first-ever European Championship point when they played a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic in Hamburg.

Georges Mikautadze fired Georgia in front from the penalty spot in first half added time but Patrik Schick equalised for the Czech Republic just before the hour mark as both sides gained their first points of Euro 2024.

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