Monday 26 September 2016

Watch: Another of Ireland's Group E opponents cap off Euros preparation in style

Tom Rooney

Published 05/06/2016 | 21:29

Belgium's midfielder Eden Hazard (L) celebrates after scoring during the friendly football match between Belgium and Norway, at the King Baudouin Stadium, on June 5, 2016 in Brussels. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYSJOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's midfielder Eden Hazard (L) celebrates after scoring during the friendly football match between Belgium and Norway, at the King Baudouin Stadium, on June 5, 2016 in Brussels. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYSJOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland’s loss to Belarus has been cast into an even less flattering light after Group E rivals Sweden and Belgium both recorded impressive victories in their final warm up games before the European Championships commence.

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This afternoon a Zlatan Ibrahimović-inspired Sweden earned a rather handy 3-0 win over Wales in Stockholm, which will have hardly filled Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane with glee. Ireland take on the Swedes in their tournament opener a week from tomorrow.

To compound their woe, Belgium endeavoured to seal a spirited comeback victory over Norway in Brussels.

Romelu Lukaku put Belgium in front with his fourth strike in as many games before Joshua King levelled the tie for the Scandinavians. Not long after the break Norway took the lead thanks to Veton Berish.

However, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard headed home to make it 2-2 and, soon after, Laurent Ciman netted the decisive goal. It finished 3-2.

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