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Lukaku rallies Belgium for Turkey test

Teenage striker Romelu Lukaku said Belgium can "hold our heads high" after a 1-0 defeat by Germany as they seek to remain positive ahead of Tuesday's game in Turkey.

Romelu Lukaku could not find a way through against Germany
Romelu Lukaku could not find a way through against Germany ©Getty Images

Teenage striker Romelu Lukaku says a young Belgium side will learn from their opening UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying defeat by Germany and will travel to Istanbul to play Turkey on Tuesday in positive mood.

The 1-0 Group A loss in Brussels was the 17-year-old RSC Anderlecht striker's first competitive appearance for his country. The Germany goalscorer, Miroslav Klose, is at the opposite end of his career and Lukaku believes his country can take plenty from a determined performance against the FIFA World Cup semi-finalists.

"We can hold our heads high and reflect on a good first-half performance which will put us in good heart going to Turkey," Lukaku said. "We're a young side and we're still learning. We're not going to say to ourselves that this defeat will make it hard for us to qualify because there are still plenty of games to play."

Istanbul will be a new experience for Lukaku, though many of the Belgium squad featured in the 1-1 draw there in a World Cup qualifier in September 2008 and played in a 2-0 home win against the same opponents 13 months later.

Belgium captain Thomas Vermaelen told UEFA.com: "A few years ago we had a good result there and I'm confident we'll get a good result again. I think we need more creativity, to be more dominant in the game and create more chances."

Vermaelen's fellow defender Daniel Van Buyten, who was dispossessed for Klose's goal, revealed his FC Bayern München team-mates in the Germany ranks were full of admiration for Georges Leekens' side. "Bastian Schweinsteiger told me Germany had luck on their side and that Belgium could have won the game," said Van Buyten. "Klose spoke to me a lot during the match and kept saying to me: 'It's difficult.' They hope we'll play like that in Turkey."

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