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2018 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Romelu Lukaku (89')
  • Kostas Mitroglou (46')
  • Panagiotis Tachtsidis (65')
  • Giorgos Tzavellas (90'+5')

Romelu Lukaku salvages late draw for Belgium against Greece

Greece celebrated their independence day holiday by holding Belgium to a 1-1 draw in Brussels in World Cup qualifying on Saturday.

Kostas Mitroglou exploited a brief lapse in concentration from Belgium to open the scoring, and the Europe Group H favourites looked defeated until Romelu Lukaku scored with two minutes remaining to keep his team on top.

The Belgians missed the speed of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, both out to injury. They should have led early, when Dries Mertens found a gap at the back but Maroune Fellaini, under little pressure, missed a header at close range.

The Greeks did what they do best: absorbing pressure, and relying on world-class defending, anchored by Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who remained solid all evening at King Baudouin Stadium.

Just 20 seconds into the second half, Mitroglou tapped the ball past Thibault Courtois in goal.

The goal was a blow to Belgium's confidence, but the side picked up from the 65th minute when Panagiotis Tachtsidis was sent off for his second booking, a clumsy tackle on Toby Alderweireld.

Lukaku found the equaliser with a wonderful goal in the 89th minute, controlling Dries Mertens' cross with his chest, spinning and shooting before the ball hit the ground.

He nearly added a winner moments later, only to be denied by Stefanos Kapino.

Greece's Giorgos Tzavelas was dismissed in stoppage time following a scuffle, but his teammates held on to frustrate the Red Devils, who blitzed through their first four qualifiers with 21 goals and four wins.

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WC Qual - UEFA News