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Belgium 3 - 0 Republic of Ireland: Martin O'Neill's men thrashed in Euro clash in Bordeaux

Published 18/06/2016

Ireland's midfielder James McCarthy (L) vies for the ball with Belgium's midfielder Axel Witsel during the Euro 2016 group E football match between Belgium and Ireland at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on June 18, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's midfielder James McCarthy (L) vies for the ball with Belgium's midfielder Axel Witsel during the Euro 2016 group E football match between Belgium and Ireland at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on June 18, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's defender Toby Alderweireld (L) and Belgium's midfielder Axel Witsel (R) challenge Ireland's defender John O'Shea during the Euro 2016 group E football match between Belgium and Ireland at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on June 18, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCELOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images
John O'Shea of Republic of Ireland reacts during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Belgium and Republic of Ireland at Stade Matmut Atlantique on June 18, 2016 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Republic of Ireland fans show support for their team in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group E match at the Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Republic of Ireland have been thrashed by Belgium 3 - 0 during their second group match in Euro 2016.

Romelu Lukaku helped to answer any questions over Belgium's Euro 2016 credentials as he struck twice to help them to a comfortable victory over the Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux.

Lukaku finally put the dominant Belgians ahead three minutes after the break and then helped himself to a second with 20 minutes remaining after Axel Witsel had made it 2-0.

Ireland were able to produce little of note and will now need to beat Italy in their final game if they are to stand a chance of emerging from Group E.

The Republic returned knowing they would have to do significantly more on the ball - if they could get hold of it - in the second half if they were to stand any chance of stemming the tide, and the early signs were good.

They won an early free-kick and Long appeared to take a boot to the face as he closed on Brady's free-kick with two red shirts in hot pursuit.

However, referee Cuneyt Cakir was not interested in his protests and as the attack broke down, Belgium struck in devastating fashion.

De Bruyne powered his way down the right wing before cutting inside and feeding Lukaku, who shifted the ball on to his left foot before curling a shot past the helpless Randolph despite O'Shea's best efforts to get to him.

Wilmots was forced into an unplanned 57th-minute change when Dembele limped off to be replaced by Nainggolan, and the newcomer arrived with Ireland finally throwing off the shackles.

The Belgian goal came under genuine threat for almost the first time two minutes later when Meunier headed Hoolahan's cross to Brady under pressure from Long, but then recovered well to block the midfielder's shot.

But the game was all but over just past the hour-mark when Meunier crossed from the right and Witsel climbed to power a header past Randolph.

Seamus Coleman, enjoying a rare foray into enemy territory, had an opportunity to send in a cross with 67 minutes gone, but Courtois claimed it at his near post under little pressure.

They wrapped up the points 20 minutes from time when Hazard broke free after substitute James McClean had been robbed by Meunier and sliced Ireland wide open before squaring for Lukaku to help himself to a second goal.

Belgium sat back and were content to hit the Republic on the break knowing that their afternoon's work was done.

Robbie Keane replaced Long with 11 minutes remaining as Martin O'Neill looked for some consolation, but it was Lukaku who held centre-stage, and he was given a hero's reception by the Belgium fans when he was replaced by Christian Benteke three minutes later.

Randolph had to make a smart 83rd-minute save to deny De Bruyne a fourth goal with the Irish defence in some disarray, and the final whistle in some ways came as a merciful release.

Online Editors

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