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Lukaku makes his mark as Belgium sink Russia

Russia 0-2 Belgium
Seventeen-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku found the net in both halves as Belgium earned a well-deserved friendly victory in Voronezh.

Vincent Kompany (left) keeps tabs on Russia's Alan Dzagoev
Vincent Kompany (left) keeps tabs on Russia's Alan Dzagoev ©AFP

Seventeen-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku scored in both halves as Belgium earned a spirited friendly away win in Russia.

It took Lukaku just two minutes to score his first senior international goal as he capitalised on a defensive mix-up to give his side the lead. The prodigious teenager struck again 16 minutes from time after controlling a long pass and finishing coolly, sealing a highly impressive win for Georges Leekens' side.

Things could not have got off to a worse start for the hosts when right-back Roman Shishkin's back pass put Igor Akinfeev under pressure in his own area, and the goalkeeper gave the ball away to Eden Hazard who crossed for Lukaku to score into an empty net.

The PFC CSKA Moskva goalkeeper, who made a similar error in his side's 1-0 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying defeat by Slovakia in September, made amends with a fine one-handed save from Jan Vertonghen. The hosts came close on 19 minutes when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov tried to lob Jean-François Gillet from the left side of the area and Gillet saved a long-range effort by Shiskin on the stroke of half-time.

However, the visitors posed the greater threat and Hazard twice had to be repelled by Sergei Ignashevich. Belgium waited patiently for their chance and struck again on 74 minutes when Lukaku collected a long ball, muscled his way in on goal and fired past Akinfeev. Russia's disappointing night was compounded by late misses from substitute Aleksandr Bukharov and Roman Shirokov.