Euro 2024 day nine: Belgium bid to bounce back from shock Slovakia loss

Belgium are under severe pressure as they aim to bounce back from their shock Group E defeat to Slovakia when they face Romania on Saturday evening.

Romelu Lukaku had two goals disallowed in the Red Devils’ surprise 1-0 loss which leaves Belgium as the only team in the group not on three points.

Georgia and Czech Republic look to secure their first points of Group F to kick off the action on Saturday afternoon, while Portugal and Turkey can progress to the last 16 with victory in their clash in Dortmund.

On Friday, Kylian Mbappe was an unused substitute as France were held to a goalless draw by the Netherlands, albeit in controversial circumstances after Xavi Simons had a second-half effort chalked off by VAR. Ukraine came from behind to beat Slovakia 2-1 in Dusseldorf, while Austria won 3-1 against Poland, who were the first team to get eliminated from the competition.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at day nine.

No Belgium burden on Lukaku

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku looks frustrated
Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco has spoken individually to Romelu Lukaku about his form (Michael Probst/AP)

Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco has spoken to striker Romelu Lukaku but has not put any additional burden on his talismanic striker.

The 31-year-old has 85 goals for the country failed to add to that tally in the surprise defeat to Slovakia after a close-range effort was ruled out for offside.

Tedesco hopes Lukaku can find his form to get their Euro 2024 campaign back on track against Romania.

“We spoke alone after the (Thursday) training session,” he said.

“We always speak because he is one of the main players. It is important what he is thinking.

“We have a really good exchange of information. We don’t just speak because of missed chances.

“He can do more of course, but we can’t expect six goals from six chances.”

Pressure building for England

England midfielder Declan Rice crouches down on the pitch
England midfielder Declan Rice admits the players may be putting too much pressure on themselves (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Declan Rice believes England are so desperate to end a 58-year wait for a major men’s trophy they are putting too much pressure on themselves at Euro 2024.

England are in a good position to advance to the last 16 from Group C after drawing 1-1 with Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday.

But the performance led to criticism of both the players and manager Gareth Southgate – including loud jeering at the final whistle.

“We are all so desperate to win, to be leaders, to go out there and give people memories for lifetimes and sometimes I maybe feel like we put too much pressure on ourselves where we could just go out there and let it just take care of ourselves,” said Rice.

“We know we can be better, for sure, in and out of possession and there is lots to improve on, which is a positive in a way.”

Dutch denied by controversial offside

English officials were involved in maybe the most controversial refereeing decision of the tournament so far as the Netherlands and France played out the first goalless draw in 50 matches at the Euros.

Anthony Taylor ruled out Xavi Simons’ shot through a crowd of players after offside Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries was adjudged to have interfered with goalkeeper Mike Maignan’s ability to dive for the shot.

VAR official Stuart Attwell concurred with the on-field decision, rejecting the opportunity to direct Taylor to the pitchside monitor, much to the annoyance of the Dutch players and coach Ronald Koeman.

France striker Kylian Mbappe, who broke his nose in France’s opening win over Austria, was an unused substitute after being fitted with a protective mask for training and matches.

Poles axed

Christoph Baumgartner’s fine second-half finish helped Austria to a 3-1 victory against Poland, who were the first team to be eliminated after France’s draw with the Netherlands.

Ralf Rangnick’s side got off to a fast start when Gernot Trauner headed them in front.

Poland hit back to level through Krzysztof Piatek before half-time but could not press on to find the win they needed, losing out to Baumgartner’s strike and a late penalty from Marko Arnautovic.

Roman ruins Slovakia’s day

Ukraine’s Roman Yaremchuk raises both arms in the air
Roman Yaremchuk scored a late winner to keep Ukraine’s hopes alive (Nick Potts/PA)

Substitute Roman Yaremchuk scored a late winner as Ukraine came from behind to beat Slovakia 2-1 in Group E at the Dusseldorf Arena and keep alive hopes of qualification for the last 16.

Ivan Schranz had put Slovakia – looking to build on their shock win over Belgium – ahead early in the first half. Mykola Shaparenko drew Ukraine level soon after the restart before Yaremchuk slotted in a well-taken finish with 10 minutes left.

Picture of the day

Poland’s Przemyslaw Frankowski is lifted off the ground by a challenge from Austria’s Philipp Mwene

Post of the day

Who’s up next?

Georgia v Czech Republic – 2pm – BBC One

Turkey v Portugal – 5pm – ITV1

Belgium v Romania – 8pm – ITV1