Everton forward Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium eased past Republic of Ireland 3-0 in a Euro 2016 Group E match here on Saturday.
The World No. 2 team showed their muscle in the second half. Twenty-three-year-old Lukaku broke the deadlock following a counterattack in the 47th minute. He placed a precise low drive into the bottom-left corner.
After 14 minutes, Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel jumped above Ireland midfielder James McCarthy to head the ball home, and Lukaku struck his second goal from Eden Hazard’s pass in the 69th minute to seal the win for Belgium.
“We were good in attack and defence and it was a convincing result,” said Lukaku.
“The game against Italy was difficult, but today we were ready and played well all across the pitch. It was all positive.”
Belgium, who went down 2-0 to Italy on Tuesday, need at least a draw against Sweden in their last group game to advance to the knockout stage.
Ireland tied 1-1 with Sweden on Tuesday, and they will have to beat Italy in the last group match to keep alive their hopes of progressing.