A superb strike from Thorgan Hazard gave Belgium a 1-0 victory over title-holders Portugal to stage a Euro 2020 quarter-final against Italy.
In an at times suspicious and moody encounter in Sevilla, the younger of the two Hazard brothers in Belgium’s starting lineup provided the only real quality moment of the game when he unleashed a deviated and long-running effort. distance that flew over the Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio. late in the first half.
Portugal had the best chances before that, with Diogo Jota shooting as far as the eye can see and Euro 2020 top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo forcing a dip from Thibaut Courtois with a well-struck free kick.
But despite introductions from Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix in the second half, Fernando Santos’ side failed to equalize, with Raphael Guerreiro being the closest when he hit a low shot against the post in the finals.
The Portuguese players became increasingly frustrated as their hopes of retaining the trophy waned, with referee Felix Brych showing a streak of yellow cards in a second half, and all was not in the good news for the either. Roberto Martinez team.
Belgium lost Kevin De Bruyne to an apparent ankle injury after a late challenge from Portuguese midfielder Joao Palhinha shortly after half-time, while Eden Hazard may also be uncertain to face the Italy in Munich on Friday after gripping his hamstrings late.
Full match report to follow …
Belgium will face Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 in Munich on Friday, July 2, with the kick-off at 8 p.m.