Belgium v Portugal: Thorgan Hazard strike units up quarter-final with Italy

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One moment in Thorgan Hazard’s class proved enough to knock out defending champions Portugal as Belgium continued their hunt for a first big title by reaching the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.

The Borussia Dortmund winger’s sweeping attack from 25 yards came late in a cautious first half and proved enough for Roberto Martinez’s side to organize a delicious meeting with Italy on Friday.

Portugal, who again brought in Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes from the bench, will look back on key chances from Diogo Jota, a saved header from Ruben Dias and a late strike from Raphael Guerreiro that hit the post.

Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness could dominate headlines ahead of the Italy showdown in Munich after getting out of the way shortly after half-time, and Belgium also lost Eden Hazard on a later complaint.

The most senior team in the world may have keyholes to fill, but they have once again shown that they have the courage to add to their undisputed quality.

Portugal’s efforts come too late too

Thorgan Hazard’s punch was deviated from Rui Patricio and he then ran off to meet with his brother Eden. to celebrate

Martinez hit the air and shouted “yes” at the final whistle while Ronaldo crouched in frustration and hit the lawn at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville.

His team had perhaps shown their best football of the tournament in the second 45 minutes, collecting 15 of 23 of 23 shots that night.

Jota shot wide, Dias warmed the hands of Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois with a close-range header, Guerreiro hit the post and substitute Joao Felix pulled a late shot out of bounds.

Manager Fernando Santos may wonder where such a performance was hidden in the second half.

On the way to the 2016 Cup, Portugal only won one tournament game in 90 minutes and this time failed to impress when they reached the round of 16.

That they seemed so reluctant to use their undeniable quality to dominate games is puzzling and whether Ronaldo – now 36 – is playing in another major tournament is likely to be a focus now.

He will undoubtedly move away from ex-Iranian striker Ali Daei 109 as the two currently have 109 international goals.

His frustration after the final whistle was palpable, however, as Portugal were flattered to deceive this time after the peak of the first grand honor in 2016.

Lukaku tamed, but Belgium intervenes

De Bruyne, seen here on the ground, was fouled before half-time but limped off shortly after the restartDe Bruyne, seen here on the ground, was fouled before half-time but limped off shortly after the restart

Martinez is now three wins away from giving Belgium a first great honor.

He concluded that this win required his team to overcome the fact that Portugal’s best quality is “doing exactly what you have to do in the game to win”.

And so it played out because Belgium – now beaten only once in 27 games – did just enough to fend off a team that achieved success by doing just enough. Martinez will be encouraged by the fact that his group looked like a team that knew how to get over the line.

Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld – with more than 240 internationals together – were called back, while Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens – all after or almost 100 internationals – simply underline the experience that Martinez has to fall back on.

Talisman Lukaku was calm and only touched the ball 30 times. Only the Portuguese Bernardo Silva, who only played 56 minutes, saw less ball from all field players at the beginning.

And Lukaku’s lack of punch was evident when Belgium fired just six shots on goal all night. Thorgan Hazard’s performance – which broke away from Rui Patricio – was their standout moment and they seemed happy to contain Portugal instead of pushing for more.

De Bruyne was hacked before half-time and only lasted seconds in the second half, while Eden Hazard caught up sharply just before the goal.

Both would be a colossal miss against Italy, the only team that – like Belgium – has won all of their group games and stays in the tournament.

Many have advised Roberto Mancini’s team, given their impressive performance so far, to go all the way.

Belgium may not have reached such entertaining heights here, but there is no doubt that it carries enough threat to undo such resistance.

Eliminating the four-time world champion and European champion from 1968 will raise hopes that this could finally be Belgium’s year.

Player of the game

T dangerRisk of thorns

Constellations

Belgium

formation 3-4-2-1

1Polite

2Erlenweireld3rdto chat5Vertonghen

fifteenMeunier8thTielemans6thwitsel16T danger

7thDe Bruyne10E danger

9Lukaku

  • 1Polite
  • 2ErlenweireldBooked at 81 minutes
  • 3rdto chatBooked at 72 minutes
  • 5Vertonghen
  • fifteenMeunier
  • 8thTielemans
  • 6thwitsel
  • 16T dangerReplaced byDendonckerat the 90 + 5 ‘protocol
  • 7thDe BruyneReplaced byMertensat the 48 ‘protocol
  • 10E dangerReplaced byCarrascoat the 87 ‘protocol
  • 9Lukaku

replacement

  • 4thBoyata
  • 11Carrasco
  • 12thMignolet
  • 13thSalts
  • 14thMertens
  • 18thRefuser
  • 19thDendoncker
  • 20thBenteke
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24Trossard
  • 25thtissue
  • 26thPraet

Portugal

formation 4-3-3

1Rui Patricio

20thDalot3rdPepe4thRuben Dias5warrior

8thJoão Moutinho26thAlves Palhinha Gonçalves16Renato Sanches

10Bernardo Silva7thCristiano Ronaldo21stWhom

  • 1Rui Patricio
  • 20thDalotBooked at 51 minutes
  • 3rdPepeBooked at 77 minutes
  • 4thRuben Dias
  • 5warrior
  • 8thJoão MoutinhoReplaced bySequeiraat the 56 ‘protocol
  • 26thAlves Palhinha GonçalvesBooked at 45 minutesReplaced byDaniloat the 78 ‘protocol
  • 16Renato SanchesReplaced byOliveiraat the 78 ‘protocol
  • 10Bernardo SilvaReplaced byBruno Fernandesat the 56 ‘protocol
  • 7thCristiano Ronaldo
  • 21stWhomReplaced byAndré Silvaat the 70 ‘protocol

replacement

  • 2Nelson Semedo
  • 6thJosé Fonte
  • 9André Silva
  • 11Bruno Fernandes
  • 12thLopes
  • 13thDanilo
  • 18thsnowing
  • 19thPereira Gonçalves
  • 22ndDantas da Silva
  • 23Sequeira
  • 24Oliveira
  • 25thTavares Mendes

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych

Number of participants: 11,504

Live text

  1. Game ends, Belgium 1, Portugal 0.

  2. Second half ends, Belgium 1, Portugal 0.

  3. Substitution, Belgium. Leander Dendoncker replaces Thorgan Hazard.

  4. Attempt failed. João Félix (Portugal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Supported by André Silva.

  5. Attempt failed. Bruno Fernandes (Portugal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Supported by Danilo Pereira.

  6. Attempt saved. André Silva (Portugal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo with a header pass.

  7. Substitution, Belgium. Yannick Carrasco is replacing Eden Hazard with an injury.

  8. Corner, Portugal. Admitted by Thomas Vermaelen.

  9. Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Supported by André Silva.

  10. Attempt failed. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  11. Foul by Sérgio Oliveira (Portugal).

  12. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Raphael Guerreiro (Portugal) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

  14. Attempt failed. João Félix (Portugal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Pepe with a cross following a corner.

  15. Attempt saved. Rúben Dias (Portugal) header from the center of the box and the goalkeeper held it in the center of the box. Supported by Bruno Fernandes with a cross.

  16. Corner, Portugal. Cashed in by Thorgan Hazard.

  17. Toby Alderweireld (Belgium) is shown the yellow card.

  18. João Félix (Portugal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Toby Alderweireld (Belgium).

  20. Attempt failed. André Silva (Portugal) tries with a head from the center of the box, but the ball flies over it. Supported by Bruno Fernandes.

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