Saturday, 18th June
Belgium looked better in Bordeaux than they did against Italy.
Ireland had their hands full trying to contain the world number one ranked team but did the job well and went into the break on level terms.
Lukaku was looking for chances but the Belgian midfield seemed not to notice his runs into space, or didn't trust him.
Half-time: Belgium 0 - Ireland 0
Maybe words were said in the dressing room at half-time, as Kevin De Bruyne, on the right, found Romelu Lukaku on the edge of the penalty area. The sometimes frustrating Everton striker hit the ball with aplomb and Belgium were in front.
Ireland had to do more than defend although a second goal for Belgium, just after the hour, took the wind out of their sails; Thomas Meunier's curling ball from the right me by a powerful header from Axel Witsel.
Two goals in less than fifteen minutes, but there was still almost thirty to go.
Ireland tried to get back in the game but were hit by a devastating counter-attack and found themselves staring down into a deep well; as Lukaku, in plenty of space, side-footed from just left of the penalty spot.
Ireland could now only hope that they would face a weakened Italy side in Lille.
Group E in Bordeaux.
Final Score: Belgium 3 - Ireland 0
1:0 (Romelu Lukaku, 48)
2:0 (Axel Witsel, 61)
3:0 (Romelu Lukaku, 70)
16-Thomas Meunier, 2-Toby Alderweireld, 3-Thomas Vermaelen, 5-Jan Vertonghen;
6-Axel Witsel, 19-Mousa Dembele, 11-Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, 7-Kevin De Bruyne;
10-Eden Hazard, 9-Romelu Lukaku.
Republic of Ireland:
2-Seamus Coleman, 4-John O'Shea, 3-Ciaran Clark, 17-Stephen Ward;
13-Jeff Hendrick, 6-Glenn Whelan, 8-James McCarthy, 19-Robbie Brady;
20-Wes Hoolahan, 9-Shane Long.