Euro 2024: Red Devils knocked out after painful defeat against France

Belgium were eliminated in the first round of the knockout stage at the European Championship in Germany on Monday evening. The Belgians lost 1-0 to France with an own goal in the 85th minute.

In a tight match, a shot from substitute Randal Kolo Muani deflected off Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen's leg into goalkeeper Koen Casteels' net and Belgium were unable to recover.

The defeat follows losses to France in their previous two meetings, at the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the 2021 Nations League

In the first half, French goalkeeper Mike Maignan needed some luck to clear Kevin De Bruyne's deflected free kick, while at the opposite end, a header from Marcus Thuram narrowly missed the target.

Defensive performance

The French started stronger in the second half. Casteels saved a tricky shot from Aurélien Tchouaméni and a rare move by Kylian Mbappé went narrowly over. But Belgium also created a few opportunities.

Lukaku, who had a particularly frustrating time in a defensive Belgian performance, tested Maignan after a good move on the left. De Bruyne also hit a shot on target, but again Maignan denied the Belgians.

Just when the match seemed to be heading for extra time, the deflected shot from Kolo Muani decided matters. Vertonghen's knee put the ball past Casteels, bringing a painful end to the Red Devils' European Championship. Coach Domenico Tedesco brought on Charles De Ketelaere and Dodi Lukebakio to force a final offensive, but it was not to be for the Red Devils.

France will now face the winner of the match between Slovenia and Portugal in the quarter-final.


Kylian Mbappé of France and Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium after France's 1-0 victoryat Euro 2024 © PHOTO ANTHONY BIBARD/FEP/ICON SPORT

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