A hat-trick of goals scored by Romelu Lukaku spoiled Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s highly anticipated return to Sweden as Belgium beat Sweden 3-0 in their Group F European Championship qualifiers on Friday.
Lukaku opened the scoring in the 35th minute, after he rose high to convert a cross played by Dodi Lukbakio, who had been a source of annoyance to the Swedish defense since the start of the match, into the net.
The Belgian striker again punished the Swedish defense for its poor marking, as he took advantage of a low cross played by Lukbakio to find the net from close range at the start of the second half.
Ibrahimovic, 41, entered the field in the 73rd minute, causing the crowd to make a deafening noise, welcoming the return of the striker to the national team after a long absence due to injury.
However, the participation of the Milan player was not affecting the level of the result, as Lukaku scored the third goal in the 83rd minute, giving his team victory in the first match he played under the leadership of the new coach, Domenico Tedesco.