The 8pm BST kick-off was initially overshadowed by Christian Eriksen’s alarming collapse during the Denmark vs Finland game earlier in the day, leaving the late game in doubt.
Fortunately for Denmark and Eriksen, the Inter Milan star responded to CPR on the pitch and was awake as he was taken to hospital.
With Denmark and Finland completing their game following a 90-minute delay – with Finland winning 1-0 – Belgium and Russia’s game in St Petersburg also went ahead.
Despite concerns for Eriksen in Copenhagen, fans in St Petersburg treated the Belgian players with comtempt as they took the knee before kick-off, with loud boos ringing out around the stadium while the Russian team elected to stand.
But Lukaku had the perfect response to Russia’s fans as he blasted Belgium into an early lead after just 10 minutes.
Lukaku was initially in an offside position, but a vital touch from a Russian defender put him onside – and the Inter Milan star made no mistake with a ruthless low finish inside the box.
Lukaku then made his way to a pitchside camera and paid tribute to his Inter team-mate Eriksen, shouting: “Chris, Chris – I love you!”
Both teams lost a player to injury as Timothy Castagne and Daler Kuzyaev clashed heads, but the former’s replacement, Meunier, put Belgium in control of the tie not long after coming on.
Russia failed to clear a teasing cross from the left, and Meunier was first to the loose ball to make it 2-0.
Russia tried to get back into the game, but lacked the quality in the final third as Belgium kept their opponents at bay with relative ease – and Lukaku added his second with a great run and near-post finish with two minutes to go.