Lukaku bags brace and Arsenal talent wins his first cap in Belgian win
Belgium hit Estonia for five on the back of Lukaku brace
Belgium kicked off its qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup with a 5-2 win against Estonia in Tallin at the A. Le Coq Arena this evening.
Lukaku finds a way 🇧🇪 pic.twitter.com/3XePWADtjP
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) September 2, 2021
It was an expected outcome, but it all could have gone horribly wrong for De Rode Duivels when the hosts took a surprising 1-0 lead through Mattias Käit inside the opening 2-minutes. Hans Vanaken restored parity 20-minutes later before Romelu Lukaku bagged back-to-back strikes – including what would be the eventual match-winner – to put Belgium 3-1 up on the night.
The Antwerp-native and current Chelsea leading man now sits at 66-international goals in 99-caps, which pushes him up to 22nd in the all-time men’s goalscoring table, ahead of Didier Drogba, and just two away from cracking the top-20 and 34-goals clear of Eden Hazard (32) on Belgium’s all-time list despite still only being 28-years-old.
More of the same will be expected from Lukaku as Belgium clashes with the tricky Czech Republic in three days’ time, and then concludes the international break with a trip to Belarus.
Sambi Lokonga earns first Belgium cap; star continues to rise
It was another influential evening for Romelu Lukaku, who continues to cement his image in Belgium footballing lore as one of the best players ever produced by the lowlands nation, but another star has continues to rise recently in Arsenal’s Sambi Lokonga.
The RSC Anderlecht youth academy graduate has been at the center of another crop of young players to come out of Belgium in the last few years, with the Brussels-born midfielder emerging as one of the most gifted Anderlecht products in recent years, up there with Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
Lokonga was already on Roberto Martinez’s radar this past summer at Euro 2020 when he included the 21-year-old in his preliminary Belgium squad. Though he did not make the final selection, it was clear that he was being billed as one for the immediate future, and much of the excitement around his move to Arsenal was attributed to this.
His form for the Gunners this season will play a large role in his chances at the international level, but his performances in the early part of the 2021-22 season show a player who looks far more ready for the challenge than many first thought.