An in-form Romelu Lukaku was on fire yet again, scoring twice as Belgium won at a canter against Russia in their Group B game in St Petersburg.
Along with Lukaku, Thomas Meunier also found the back of the net as Belgium, the top ranked team in the world, won 3-0, without the talismanic Kevin de Bruyne.
On an evening when Christian Eriksen was the most talked about player, due to his worrying collapse in Copenhagen, Lukaku, his teammate from Inter Milan, dedicated his first goal to the Danish midfielder. He celebrated his goal by shouting "Chris, Chris, I love you" in front of a television camera.
It was a routine cross from the right by Dries Mertens that went through the legs of Andrei Semonov, and sat up for Lukaku, who from 12 yards out smashed it home on the turn past Anton Shunin on the 10th minute, giving Belgium the lead.
The Belgians were dealt another injury scare on 27 minutes as a clash of heads forced Timothy Castagne off with what is reportedly a broken eye socket. His replacement Thomas Meunier doubled the lead in the 34th minute when he was on hand to tuck away a loose ball.
Russia tried in vain to get back into the match in the second half and Lukaku put matters to bed just before full-time with another goal to give Belgium all 3 points.
The result has Belgium and Finland tied on 3 points, with the World Number 1 side having the better goal difference.
Belgium play Denmark next on Thursday while Finland and Russia meet on Wednesday.
. Read more on Football by The Quint.Romelu Lukaku Pays Tribute to Eriksen as Belgium Ease Past RussiaFinland’s Win Over Denmark Eclipsed by Eriksen’s Worrying Collapse . Read more on Football by The Quint.