Tedesco expects more from Belgium despite sweeping aside Sweden

By Sports Desk March 24, 2023

Domenico Tedesco expects to see even more from his Belgium side, despite an impressive 3-0 victory over Sweden in his first game as head coach.

Romelu Lukaku's hat-trick in Friday's opening Euro 2024 qualifier ensured Tedesco, who took over from Roberto Martinez last month, got off to a flying start.

While pleased to have picked up victory in the Group F clash in Stockholm, former RB Leipzig boss Tedesco can see room for improvement after his first 90 minutes at the helm.

"I am satisfied with the team, because no victory is easy," Tedesco said. “But we started nervous here and lost some balls in situations where that should not have happened. 

"Yet we scored twice after two good counters with excellent flank play. After that, at 2-0 we performed less and I don't want that, but it's a process. 

"We can play even better football and we have to improve, but all in all I'm satisfied."

With the likes of Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Axel Witsel having retired from Belgium duty, some new faces and others previously on the fringes had a chance to impress.

Dodi Lukebakio assisted Lukaku's first two goals on what was just his third start and debutant Johan Bakayoko laid on the third after being introduced from the substitutes' bench.

Hertha Berlin winger Lukebakio caught the eye with his play down the right but, like head coach Tedesco, he also believes Belgium – who flopped at Qatar 2022 – can improve.

"This is just the beginning," he said. "It was important to get off to a good start in this qualifying campaign. We have shown what we can do, but we can perform even better. 

"We will have to improve game after game. On a personal level, with two assists, it couldn't have been much better for me today.

Belgium are back in action on Tuesday with a friendly against Germany in Cologne, while Sweden host Azerbaijan on Monday in their next qualifying match.

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