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Christian Pulisic leads USMNT romp; Romelu Lukaku hits hat-trick for Belgium

Friday fun

Netherlands v USA: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Juan Luis Diaz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

A star turn from Christian Pulisic highlighted Friday’s international slate, with Captain America putting America on his back and leading them to an (expected) romp over hapless Grenada, one of the lowest ranked teams in all the world.

But you can only beat the opposition you’re given, and Pulisic certainly did that, creating two goals inside the first 20 minutes, then adding one of his own early in the second half by way of some poor goalkeeping, which made it 5-1. Pulisic’s day was done just past the hour mark, having gained some much-needed match fitness as well after missing most of the past two months.

There will be tougher tests for this team, but this is certainly a good start to their CONCACAF Nations League campaign.

Earlier in the day, another player in desperate need of form and fitness found great success on the international stage, as Romelu Lukaku smashed in a hat-trick against Sweden in Belgium’s first Euro 2024 qualification game — as many goals in one game as he’s managed all season in the Serie A.

All three goals were set up by crosses from the right wing, giving Lukaku two easy finishes after a well-taken header for the first one.

Nice job, Rom!

And while there were no goals for Kalidou Koulibaly, nor a clean sheet, our defender did captain Senegal to an easy 5-1 win over Mozambique. Édouard Mendy was not called up; former Rennes teammate Alfred Gomis deputized in goal.

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