Slovakia’s Schranz sinks Belgium in huge UEFA Euro 2024 upset

Ivan Schranz’s goal in the seventh minute was enough to allow Slovakia to pull off the shock of the tournament so far.

Football players celebrate goal.
Slovakia's Ivan Schranz celebrates scoring his side's first goal with teammates against highly favoured Belgium in Group E of Euro 2024 [Heiko Becker/Reuters]

Slovakia caused the first major upset at the European Football Championship 2024 as Ivan Schranz fired the underdogs to a 1-0 win against Belgium.

Francesco Calzona’s side are 45 spots below third-placed Belgium in FIFA’s world rankings.

But they made a mockery of the supposed quality gap between the teams with a courageous performance in Frankfurt, Germany on Monday.

Calzona, who also served as Napoli’s interim boss in the second half of last season, had admitted he would be “delighted” with a draw.

The Italian got more than he could have dreamed of as Schranz left Belgium reeling in the seventh minute after ending his nine-game international goal drought.

Football player scores goal.
Slovakia’s Ivan Schranz scores what turned out to be the game winner in just the seventh minute against Belgium in Euro 2024 [Lee Smith/Reuters]

Key striker Romelu Lukaku missed a host of chances for Belgium and had a late equaliser controversially disallowed by VAR in the 86th minute after a handball by teammate Lois Openda in the build-up.

Slovakia’s unexpected victory blew Group E wide open, just hours after Romania beat Ukraine 3-0 in Monday’s other match in that pool.

It was a bitter loss for Belgium, who are in danger of once again failing to fulfil their potential at a major tournament.

Belgium’s golden generation has lost much of its lustre since they crashed out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stage.

The Red Devils fell at the quarterfinals in the last two editions of the European Championship, making a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup the high-water mark of a talented but underachieving team once hailed as a potential dynasty.

 

Source: News Agencies