18.06.2016 at 15:00 Stade de Bordeaux
3 - 0
Republic of Ireland
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Tur)
European Cup Finals-match
R Lukaku 48, 70
James Mc Carthy
Aidan Mc Geady
James Mc Clean
Republic of Ireland suffered defeat in their second Group E game after an impressive second-half display from Belgium.
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18th Jun 2016
After a goalless first-half, the Belgians made their pressure tell in the second 45 minutes with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a header from midfielder Axel Witsel.
Martin O'Neill made just one change to the side which claimed a point against Sweden with Stephen Ward coming into the side for the injured Jon Walters, a change which saw Robbie Brady start in midfield.
A defensive, hard-working display was always going to be required against a Belgian side which featured Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.
It was De Bruyne's corner from the right which saw Toby Alderweireld glance wide in the 13th minute before Hazard fired a warning when he picked up a loose ball in the area, but blasted over eight minutes later.
Marc Wilmots' side thought they had taken the lead with 24 minutes gone. De Bruyne crossed for Yannick Carrasco to force the ball home at the second attempt following an excellent Darren Randulph save, but the Irish defence stepped up at the right time to see the flag raised.
Two minutes after the break, Belgium did take the lead. De Bruyne broke down the right following an Irish attack to find Lukaku just outside the area and he swept home to score Belgium's first goal of the European Championships.
Ireland responded well with several crosses from Brady just out of the reach of Long and Brady had a shot blocked from within the area by Thomas Meunier in the 58th minute.
Belgium doubled their lead just three minutes later as Meunier found space on the right to cross for Witsel to ghost in and head home unchallenged.
As Ireland committed more players forward, Belgium exploited the space left at the back to stretch their advantage. In the 69th minute, Hazard skipped past the challenge of Ciaran Clark to find Lukaku who made no mistake from 10 yards out to seal the points.
Ireland continued to work hard on and off the ball in the late stages of the game as striker Robbie Keane was introduced with 12 minutes remaining, but couldn't get the goal Ireland's play deserved.
Belgium move up to second in Group E with Ireland now dependent on a win against leaders Italy in their final group game to stand any chance of progression to the knock-out stages.
Republic of Ireland: Randalph (GK), Coleman, O'Shea (C), Clark, Ward, Whelan, McCarthy (McClean 63), Hendrick, Brady, Hoolahan (McGeady 73), Long (Keane 78).
Subs not used: Westwood (GK), Given (GK), Keogh, Duffy, Walters, Christie, Meyler, Murphy, Quinn.
Belgium: Courtois (GK), Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel, De Bruyne, R. Lukaku (Benteke 83), Hazard (C), Carrasco (Mertens 63), Meunier, Dembele (Nainggolan 56).
Subs not used: Mignolet (GK), Gillet (GK), Fellaini, Denayer, Origi, Kabasele, J. Lukaku, Batshuayi, Ciman.
Yellow card(s): Hendrick (41).
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)