REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Striker Romelu Lukaku scored both goals to give Belgium a 2-1 win at Iceland on Wednesday, taking his international tally to 55 goals and moving his team back atop its Nations League group.
Having lost 2-1 to England on Sunday, Belgium profited from England’s 1-0 home loss to Denmark to regain control of Group 2 in League A after four of the six qualifying games.
Belgium has nine points and is two points ahead of Denmark and England. The Danes are second on goal difference.
In the absence of Eden Hazard, and with the captain’s armband on, Lukaku is coming into his own in a leadership role.
The goals are stacking up, too.
Having also scored against England, his 55 goals have come from only 87 games for his country.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side was not just missing Real Madrid’s Hazard but also the creative passing and precise shooting of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne
But Lukaku stepped up after nine minutes, receiving the ball with his back to goal and turning to shoot past goalkeeper Runar Runarsson.
Iceland equalized just eight minutes later.
Midfielder Runar Mar Sigurjonsson’s astute pass sent veteran right back Birker Sævarsson through and he beat goalie Simon Mignolet with a low shot as Belgium’s defense was caught napping.
Lukaku then confidently converted a penalty in the 38th after being fouled by center back Holmar Eyjolfsson.
Belgium hosts England and Denmark faces Iceland on Nov. 15
The winner from each group in League A qualifies for a final-four tournament next year in the second edition of the Nations League.
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