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Coach Tedesco curses Belgium’s luck

They wasted a series of good chances against France

DÜSSELDORF/ PARIS:

Domenico Tedesco was disappointed with the bad weather for Belgium on Monday after a late own goal from Jan Vertonghen ended their Euro 2024 campaign and sent France into the quarter-finals.

Vertonghen headed a failed attempt from Randal Kolo Muani into his own net with five minutes remaining in Düsseldorf, where a talented Belgium team once again disappointed at a major international tournament.

“An hour after the final whistle and after conceding a goal in the 86th minute, it is very difficult for me to make an analysis,” Tedesco told reporters.

“You can’t really say we’ve been lucky this tournament, if you look at the first games and the kind of goals we conceded tonight.”

Belgium were largely on the back foot against France, who squandered a series of good chances before luck came their way in the closing stages. And the way Belgium performed on Monday, qualifying for Group E only to be booed and whistled by fans for their goalless draw with Ukraine, has led to the Red Devils’ courage being called into question.

Tedesco denied accusations that his team lacked courage after their unfortunate, but largely deserved, elimination from the European Championship.

“I think (against) Slovakia yes (we were brave). You saw Slovakia against England, we put them under high pressure and we had a lot of chances, the same goes for Romania,” Tedesco said.

“The (goalless draw with) Ukraine, yeah, the longer these games go on, the more players get into their heads that if you concede one goal, you’re out of the tournament. And tonight we played France and the chances were there tonight.”

Tedesco also defended Romelu Lukaku, who leaves Germany goalless despite the striker having three goals disallowed by VAR in the group stage.

The final match, Belgium’s 2-0 win over group winners Romania, was disallowed after Lukaku’s big toe was found to be offside.

“If you think that after these kind of games Romelu (Lukaku) goes home with zero goals, and Jeremy Doku with zero goals and zero assists, I think it’s a shame, it’s unbelievable,” said Tedesco.

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