A dream debut for Domenico Tedesco.
Against Sweden, the new national coach immediately brought a fresh mix between experience and, above all, a lot of youthful violence between the lines. The personification of that new wind: Dodi Lukebakio.
The dribbler winger from Hertha Berlin was the surprising new face at the kick-off, and he gave the attacking game of these “new” Devils a fresh face. With frivolous actions and a lot of depth, he provided a constant threat on his right flank in the new 4-4-2 system.
Amadou Onana in turn provided an energy boost with his presence and dynamics. And also Wout Faes – who was the hero in the early stages when he turned a ball off the line – and Arthur Theate moved solidly in defence.
Experienced men such as Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and especially Romelu Lukaku may have missed their well-known training buddies on the training field in recent days, but after tonight that mourning process will be largely over.
Lukaku in particular benefited from all that young violence around him. What did not work out at the World Cup seemed to go without saying for the attack leader today: scoring.
Lukaku nodded the 1-0 on the board just before half-time and also tapped the double lead against the net after the break. Twice he fell into the arms of his assistant, Lukebakio. Two of the many hugs that were given to each other tonight.
The Belgians were initially a bit hesitant. It promised High-IntensityWe didn’t get football yet, but the seemingly easy control after Lukaku’s double goal has already given hope to citizens.
The fact that Johan Bakayoko, another new discovery, assisted Lukaku for his hat trick in the end, made the party complete. The sensation from the Eredivisie dribbled two opponents – literally – into a heap and thus granted Lukaku his statement.
His finger went to the lips. He soothed the past: for himself, but above all for the nation. Gone World Cup, the Tedesco era can begin.