Euro 2024: Belgium Advances After Goalless Draw, Ukraine Eliminated in Group Stage Shock

Euro 2024: In a highly anticipated Group E encounter at Euro 2024, Belgium wore a distinctive Tintin-inspired sky-blue and brown uniform. Expecting an exciting display, the match versus Ukraine resulted in a dull 0-0 tie.

As a result, Belgium was able to place second in the group, and Ukraine’s campaign came to an unsuccessful conclusion.

Euro 2024: Belgium Advances After Goalless Draw, Ukraine Eliminated in Group Stage Shock
Romelu Lukaku of Belgium is blocked by Anatoliy Trubin of Ukraine. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Belgium’s away uniform for the match versus Ukraine was inspired by Tintin and consisted of a sky-blue shirt and brown shirts. It was envisaged that the team at Euro 2024 will be motivated by the character’s spirit of adventure.

However, the majority of Red Devil supporters would have just yelled “Blistering barnacles,” “Cabbage heads,” or a slew of other profanities during the majority of the first half in apparent reference to another well-liked Tintin character, Captain Haddock.

Despite the fact that the game ended in a goalless draw, which enabled Belgium to finish second in the group and eliminate Ukraine, a sizable portion of Belgium supporters jeered their own side during the last moments of play.

Group E was the tight one going into the game. All teams had three points, but due to their weak goal differential, Ukraine required a victory in order to move on. Serhiy Rebrov, the manager of Ukraine, decided to start two strikers instead of the one we saw in their previous two games for this reason.

In addition to indicating intent, this action suggested that Ukraine was planning to commit more soldiers to the offensive. Romelu Lukaku ran to the edge of Ukraine’s six-yard box, and Kevin De Bruyne snuck a pass in behind him in the seventh minute, giving Belgium’s star-studded lineup a chance to capitalize on this.

The large striker reached the ball ahead of Anatolii Trubin, but his shot was crooked, giving the goalie an easy opportunity to save. That turned out to be Belgium’s lone meaningful opportunity in the first half.

Romelu Lukaku is the player with the most shots on target (6) in this competition. He is still awaiting the first goal, though.

Although Belgium had greater possession of the ball, Ukraine was beginning to steadily gain ground. Even while they were still unable to play the possession game of their choice, they were having more opportunities and appeared more likely to score.

De Bruyne saw a lot of the ball, but this was still the case. He had the most touches (45) of any player on either side in the first forty minutes, but it was still not clicking. Instead, because the captain of Belgium would not come back to defend, Ukraine was able to take advantage of the opening.

The normally lethal Belgian wingers were restrained, and although Ukraine was the more upbeat team at the break, they had failed to score.

There was more of the same in the second half. Ukraine is moving forward, creating opportunities but failing to score, while Belgium is still struggling to find its feet.

Also Read: Georgia Defeats Portugal in UEFA Euro 2024 with A Stunning 2-0 Victory

The 82nd minute was when they got closest. With a low, precise shot, Ruslan Malinovsky nearly caught Belgium goalkeeper Koen Casteels off guard. However, he took action just in time to stop the objective. It was a matter of millimeters, as replays subsequently demonstrated.

Euro 2024: Belgium Advances After Goalless Draw, Ukraine Eliminated in Group Stage Shock
Heorhiy Sudakov of Ukraine attempts a goal during Wednesday's Euro 2024 Group E match in Stuttgart versus Belgium. Photo Credit: REUTERS

Belgium appeared to be aiming for a draw at this point. They knew it would be sufficient for them to move forward. But is this really how the third-best team in the world ought to be playing?

Georgiy Sudakov missed a late opportunity to score, hitting the goalkeeper squarely. Maybe it was placement, not power, that made the difference.

Men continued to be offered by a Ukraine that was growingly desperate. They gave it their best try, knowing that a victory would mean everything to them, but they were unable to breach the Belgian defense.

The game statistics will demonstrate that although it was a close game, Ukraine had the better opportunities, and by the time it was over, their dissatisfaction was evident.

Ukraine suffered a shock loss to Romania 3-0 in the opening game, and they paid the price in the final one. Despite having four points, Ukraine became the first team in the history of the Euros to be eliminated in the group stages.

In their last six major tournament appearances, Belgium had not lost their last group match, and they have continued that run. However, they will eventually encounter France, which is never simple.

The Red Devils will need to reconsider their strategy and figure out how to make their play more exciting. Although no team wants to be jeered by its own supporters, it might wake them up. Then then, perhaps it won’t.

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