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Ivan Schranz goal helps Slovakia stun Belgium on debut

Euro 2024 1Euro 2024 1Frankfurt (Germany), June 18 (IANS) Slovakia made a sensational European championship debut by stunning Belgium 1-0 in their opening match in Group E in Euro 2024 here on Monday. An early Ivan Schranz goal was enough for Slovakia to beat Belgium, placed third in the FIFA Rankings, in an entertaining game full of missed chances.

Schranz scored in the seventh minute of the match and Slovakia defended stoutly to deny Belgium the equaliser and cause a huge upset in the tournament.

Belgium started strongly, with Jeremy Doku immediately showing his skills, his superb solo run ending with Romelu Lukaku having the first chance of the game which was kept out by Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Schranz was just as well-positioned on the other side of the pitch only minutes later, volleying in the opener from a rebound following Koen Casteels’ initial save from Juraj Kucka.

Belgium struggled to react, with Stanislav Lobotka controlling the tempo of the game, and Slovakia’s high press worked wonders for large spells of the match. Lukas Haraslin almost doubled his team’s lead with a thunderous volley before the break, but Casteels flew to his left to keep it out.

The Red Devils then started really putting the pressure on. Dubravka denied Lukaku first, then was once again decisive from a Leandro Trossard effort. Finally, when Dubravka was beaten, David Hancko saved his team with a fantastic goal-line clearance to seal the three points and a memorable win for Slovakia.

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