Soccer-Belgium confident of Euro 2024 turnaround against Romania


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group E - Belgium v Slovakia - Frankfurt Arena, Frankfurt, Germany - June 17, 2024 Belgium players pose for a team group photo before the match REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) - There is no panic in the Belgium camp despite their shock 1-0 loss to Slovakia in their European Championship opener in Frankfurt on Monday, with coach Domenico Tedesco and the players finding little fault with the performance.

The result means there is little margin for error when Belgium play Romania on Saturday after the latter dispatched Ukraine 3-0 in their first Group E game.

An early error from Jeremy Doku allowed Slovakia to score through Ivan Schranz inside seven minutes, after which Belgium missed a host of chances and had two goals disallowed by VAR.

Tedesco put the defeat more down to bad luck and the lack of a clinical touch rather than any deeper issues within the side.

"I can't tell the team much about what needed to be better," Tedesco told reporters. "We have created many opportunities. Great opportunities. If we had scored first, that would have helped us.

"But we had control and didn't let Slovakia play their game. The only thing that wasn't perfect was our finishing."

Captain Kevin De Bruyne echoed those thoughts and felt overall the team had looked in control.

"Our second half was better," he said. "We've created opportunities, pushed them and didn't give away much. We didn't play badly, it is only that we didn't score.

"Of course it is now necessary in our second game to be more efficient."

Substitute Lois Openda, who was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up to Belgium’s second disallowed goal, is confident of a turnaround for the side.

"In the second half we did push well and play well, only the goal was missing. We have to work on that for the second game.

"It's not going to be with the knife between the teeth against Romania yet. We know how to play well, as we did during qualifying.

"There is no pressure, we have the quality, mentality and trust in our group. It will be fine."

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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