Lukaku scores twice as Belgium beats Ireland 3-0

11:10 a.m. EDT June 18, 2016

BORDEAUX, France (AP) — Romelu Lukaku scored two second-half goals to help Belgium bounce back from its opening defeat at the European Championship, with a 3-0 victory against Ireland.

Belgium’s victory in the Group E match in Bordeaux on Saturday came as its much-vaunted attack finally sprang to life after wasting a series of chances in the first half.

Lukaku opened the scoring in the 48th minute from a quick counterattack that owed much to Kevin De Bruyne’s burst down the right flank. Lukaku controlled De Bruyne’s square pass before driving the ball low into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area.

Axel Witsel doubled the score in the 61st, when he jumped above Ireland midfielder James McCarthy to head in Thomas Meunier’s cross for his first international goal in nearly two years.

Ireland tried to fight back but was once again caught out by a pacey Belgian counterattack, as Eden Hazard raced down the right from inside his own half before squaring for Lukaku, who slotted the ball past Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph in the 70th.

The result was a fair illustration of Belgium’s dominance in the…

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