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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Belgium in party mood
Belgian fans
How long will the Belgian party continue?
It has taken them a while but, having defeated Sweden, the Belgian nation have succumbed to Euro 2000 fever.

Following Belgium's 2-1 win in the tournament's opening game, there were euphoric scenes on the streets of Brussels.

The Belgian press have joined in the celebrations, displaying a new air of sporting confidence.

Newspaper La Derniere Heure reported the country had gone "Into orbit".

"The Red Devils could not have dreamed of a better start - this victory already puts the Belgians on the road to possible qualification for the quarter-finals."

"Bingo," said Het Volk, while Vers l'Avenir opted for "Brilliant".



The Red Devils could not have dreamed of a better start

La Derniere Heure newspaper

"Europhoria," proclaimed a special edition of Het Nieuwsblad. "The path to the second stage is now wide open."

"The Red Devils launch the Belgian party," exclaimed La Libre Belgique in a special Euro 2000 edition, while La Gazette des Sports simply printed a Belgian flag as its front page.

Effervescent

Most media praise was reserved for man-of-the-match Emile Mpenza, Bart Goor - who scored the first goal - and the effervescent Marc Wilmots.


Eric Deflandre
Deflandre: plaudits
Even right-back Eric Deflandre, who has had his critics in the build-up to Euro 2000, received plaudits.

There was even forgiveness for Filip De Wilde after the goalkeeping blunder which gifted Sweden their goal.

The real test of this new-found optimism comes on Wednesday when Belgium face Italy, a team they beat in a friendly in Lecce last year.

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Belgium
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See also:

10 Jun 00 | Belgium
Belgium kick off with fine win
11 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
Saturday night football fever
11 Jun 00 | Belgium
De Wilde blames bobble
10 Jun 00 | Belgium
Spectacular opening for Euro 2000
10 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Opening ceremony - in pictures
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