Belgium vs Portugal: the stunning Thorgan Hazard eliminates Portugal from Euro 2020



Hazard, who plays for German side Borussia Dortmund, hit a deflected shot from 25 yards that cheated Rui Patrício in the Portugal goal and knocked out the defending champions of the tournament.

Portugal had the opportunity to come back to level, Raphaël Guerreiro hitting the post and Ruben Dias forcing a good save from Thibaut Courtois in the second half.

However, this turned out to be in vain, as Belgium advanced to the quarter-finals where they face Italy in Munich on Friday.

“In these kinds of games, you have to grab your chances with both hands,” Hazard said afterwards.

“There you go, the keeper was expecting me to pick the other corner, so the ball came in. I’m glad I got to score for my country!”

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Hazard celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Portugal.

Big teams, big names

When the last 16 games were named, the clash between these two footballing giants was one of the matches fans surrounded with the long list of high-quality players potentially on display.

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Romelu Lukaku, the stars were on display in Seville.

But despite the offensive options on the pitch, the first half was a matter of mistrust, with chances few and far between. Diogo Jota seized the best opportunity to break the deadlock early on.

However, minutes before the break, Hazard – the younger brother of Real Madrid star Eden – took matters into his own hands.

Recovering the ball from the corner of Portugal’s area, he sliced ​​the ball, deflecting it and goalkeeper Patricio on the wrong foot.

Portuguese goalkeeper Patricio fails to save Hazard's shot.

His goal meant he was scoring for the first time in consecutive games for Belgium and that he has scored four goals for Belgium since Eden’s last goal for the national team.

The only damper on a glorious night for Belgium will be when Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was forced out with an apparent injury minutes after the start of the second half .

In the lead, Belgium looked dangerous on the counterattack as Portugal looked to equalize.

As the game got more scrap, the challenges got more daring as players stretched all tendons in an attempt to regain possession.

A late challenge from Pepe prompted both benches to rush onto the pitch as things warmed up. The Porto defender received a yellow card for his efforts.

Portugal, with their tournament hopes on the line, had only a few chances, Guerreiro and Dias coming closest, but to no avail.

The victory means Belgium have lost only one of their last 27 international matches and are unbeaten in their last 13 international matches.

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Pepe receives a yellow card for a challenge on Hazard in Belgium.
“In the first half we were playing high and putting pressure on Portugal, but looking at this second half we are lucky to win,” Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen said afterwards.

“Portugal made it very difficult for us. We really had to stay focused. It cost us a lot of energy, but we have a little time to recover and now we are looking forward to the game against Italy.”

Now, the No.1-ranked team will face Italy at the Allianz Arena in Munich, as two of the tournament’s fittest teams face off.


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