Euro 2020 Round of 16: Belgium 1-0 Portugal
Thorgan Hazard scored a stunning goal to lift Belgium over defending champions Portugal at Euro 2020. This has set up a quarterfinal clash against Italy.
The Azzurri beat Austria earlier on to qualify for the last 8 of the competition.
The world’s number one-ranked side showed their true mettle to overcome Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in a scrappy game. There were several missed opportunities on both ends.
It needed a moment of brilliance or a mistake to separate the two sides and it came in the form of Hazard’s screamer from 25 yards out.
The Borussia Dortmund winger hammered home in the 42nd minute to give the Belgian Red Devils the lead.
Although Belgium held onto the victory, they have worrisome signs going into the quarterfinal clash with Italy. Kevin de Bruyne is a massive doubt for the clash and so is Eden Hazard after Belgium’s stars had to come off due to injuries.
It was a day when Belgium had to dig really deep as Portugal were absolutely wasteful and dreadful in front of goal.
The Portuguese had 23 shots in the game and only managed to hit the target 4 times! They also dominated possession but failed to capitalise on anything.
Belgium were hardly troubled and made the most of their one shot on target. The free-flowing Belgian side were held to just 6 shots by the Portuguese.
The Red Devils are the only FIFA number-one ranked side ever to have not won any major international tournament. They will be hoping to change that by winning this year’s Euro 2020.
Their next game is against the other favourites of the tournament in a “final before the final” – Italy. Roberto Mancini’s team have been unbeaten since November 2018 and have just conceded 1 goal so far this tournament.
Roberto Martinez knows that his side will need to be at their best against the Italians to have a chance of winning. Given the injury scares to de Bruyne and Hazard, those will be huge shoes to fill in.
Nonetheless, football fans cannot afford to miss this clash of Euro 2020.