Four-goal Lukaku secures top spot for Belgium in Euro 2024 qualifiers
Belgium's men beat Azerbaijan 5-0 on Sunday evening at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on the final day of the Group F European Championship qualifiers.
Azerbaijan played with 10 men for more than an hour after midfielder Eddy Israfilov was sent off. Lukaku, Belgium's all-time top scorer, scored four first-half goals in just 20 minutes. Leandro Trossard added a fifth in the closing stages.
The Red Devils finished top of their qualifying group with 20 points from eight matches, one more than second-placed Austria. They will be seeded in Pot 1 during the tournament draw in Hamburg next month.
Next year's European Championships in Germany will be the sixth major tournament in a row that Belgium have qualified for. Coach Domenico Tedesco can look back on an unbeaten first year in charge since taking over from Roberto Martinez, with eight wins and two draws.
The Red Devils finished 2023 on a high note and can now look forward to the start of their training campaign in March, which includes a friendly against England at Wembley. Preparations for the European Championship will kick off in June.
© JOHN THYS / AFP