Euro 2024: Belgium stunned by Slovakia 1-0 with VAR denying Lukaku twice

Slovakia's deserved win also was preserved by defender Dávid Hancko's brave goal-line block that left him sprawled in the goal net with a face injury inflicted by a teammate's knee.
Slovakia's David Hancko, right, blocks a shot by Belgium's Johan Bakayoko during the Group E match between Belgium and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024.
Slovakia's David Hancko, right, blocks a shot by Belgium's Johan Bakayoko during the Group E match between Belgium and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024.Photo | AP

FRANKFURT: Two Romelu Lukaku goals were ruled out by video review and Belgium fell to a stunning 1-0 loss to Slovakia in wild Group D at the European Championship on Monday.

Slovakia struck with a seventh-minute goal by forward Ivan Schranz and survived a string of misses by Belgium record scorer Lukaku, who had two second-half goals overturned, and all that playmaker Kevin De Bruyne could help create.

Slovakia's deserved win also was preserved by defender Dávid Hancko's brave goal-line block that left him sprawled in the goal net with a face injury inflicted by a teammate's knee.

That came in the 62nd minute, from substitute Johan Bakayoko's close-range shot, just seven minutes after Lukaku's first 'goal' was overturned when a video review spotted an offside.

The second VAR intervention in the 86th disallowed Lukaku's powerful shot because of a handball by Loïs Openda before his decisive pass.

Lukaku set a competition record of 14 goals in a qualifying group last year, yet somehow failed to score in a wasteful first half, including twice before Slovakia led.

The drama in Frankfurt came hours after Romania upended predictions by outclassing Ukraine 3-0 in Munich.

Belgium fell to a first loss in 15 games under coach Domenico Tedesco and faces Romania in the Saturday evening game in Cologne.

Slovakia has more than one day less to prepare for facing Ukraine in Duesseldorf on Friday.

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