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HomeFootballFrance and Kylian Mbappe defeat the Netherlands, and Romelu Lukaku scores three...

France and Kylian Mbappe defeat the Netherlands, and Romelu Lukaku scores three goals for Belgium

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In his first game as skipper of France, Kylian Mbappe scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of the Netherlands on Friday during Euro 2024 qualifying.

On Friday in Euro 2024 qualifying, Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France destroyed the Netherlands 4-0, and Romelu Lukaku notched a hat-trick as Belgium won 3-0 in Sweden to start a new period. In their Group B debut in Paris, France defeated a virus-depleted Dutch team with a three-goal lead before halftime.

In the first two minutes of play at the Stade de France, Mbappe, who has replaced longtime captain Hugo Lloris, set up his vice-captain Antoine Griezmann to score the opening goal.

After Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen failed to clear the threat with a free kick, Dayot Upamecano bundled in Griezmann’s free kick from close range to set up the second goal in the eighth minute.

After Randal Kolo Muani had deftly left an Aurelien Tchouameni through pass, Mbappe ran through to make it 3-0. The superstar of Paris Saint-Germain then emphatically sealed the victory in the closing minutes.

When Mike Maignan, France’s new first-choice goalie, turned aside a Memphis Depay penalty in stoppage time, Les Bleus’ perfect evening was complete.

“We didn’t want to let our supporters down. With the exception of the championship game, this was our first game back after the World Cup, and we really wanted to continue where we left off there,” Mbappe, who has now scored 38 goals in 67 games for his nation, told broadcaster TF1.

Since losing to France in Paris by the same margin in August 2017, this was the Netherlands’ first loss by a four-goal margin.

On Monday, France’s next match is on the road against the Republic of Ireland, while the Netherlands entertain Gibraltar. Friday in Faro, Portugal, Gus Poyet’s Greece defeated Gibraltar 3-0 with goals from Giorgos Masouras, Manolis Siopis, and skipper Anastasios Bakasetas.

Serbia defeats Poland and wins

After being eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage, Domenico Tedesco took over as boss of Belgium, replacing Roberto Martinez.

As the Inter Milan forward Lukaku scored all the goals on the road in Sweden in Group F, he could not have hoped for a better debut.

After being set up by Dodi Lukebakio early in the second half, Lukaku scored with a tap-in off Victor Lindeloef after scoring with a header on 35 minutes.

Before Lukaku scored another simple goal to make it 3-0 for Sweden, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 41, came off the substitute. It is never simple for any side to win three games and score three goals in Sweden, Tedesco told Belgium’s RTBF.

In the same division, Austria, captained by Ralf Rangnick, defeated Azerbaijan 4-1 at home in Linz thanks to two goals from Marcel Sabitzer. The hosts also received goals from Christoph Baumgartner and Michael Gregoritsch.

In their first encounter under new coach Fernando Santos—the man who guided Portugal to victory at Euro 2016—Robert Lewandowski’s Poland lost in Group E.

For the home team in Prague, Ladislav Krejci and Tomas Cvancara tallied in the opening three minutes, and Jan Kuchta added a third goal later. While Lewandowski was kept silent, Poland’s Damian Szymanski scored a goal.

A late penalty was required for Moldova to draw 1-1 with the Faroe Islands at home in the same division. Serbia defeated Lithuania 2-0 at home in Group G thanks to goals from Dusan Tadic and Dusan Vlahovic, while Montenegro triumphed 1-0 away in Bulgaria thanks to Nikola Krstovic’s game-winning goal.

On Saturday, Spain will play Norway and Croatia will play Wales in the second round of qualifying for the championships in Germany the following year.

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