Hazard rocket fires Belgium past holders Portugal

    The Portuguese champions were eliminated from Euro 2020 on Sunday with 1-0 to beat Belgium, which will then face Italy with a verbal draw in the quarterfinals.

    A 43-minute strike by Thorgan Hazard secured victory for Roberto Martinez’s team, which survived a lot of pressure from the Portuguese in the second half. But with the finishing touch missing, it was the end of the road for Cristiano Ronaldo and a Portuguese team that had won in Paris five years ago.

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    Portugal started strongly and Diogo Jota missed a great opportunity in the sixth minute, pulling his shot when Renato Sanches broke from the center and found him in a promising position on the left.

    Ronaldo then tested Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a free kick as Fernando Santos’ team continued to put pressure. But Belgium developed in the game with Kevin De Bruyne becoming more and more influential and three minutes before space they took the lead.

    A pass in the box is sent by Thomas Meunier to the keeper, Thorgan Hazard, who has no trouble directing it. The ball goes to Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

    Belgium suffered a blow when De Bruyne stopped with an injury three minutes after the break and Santos tried to breathe life into his side attack, bringing Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix off the bench.

    Ronaldo, passing from the right, took Jota well in the box, but again his effort forward was out of goal, but Belgium struggled to restrain their opponents.

    Belgium’s attempts to resist were increasingly rare and Portugal climbed in the last 10 minutes as they desperately looked for a equalizer.

    Courtois threw a thunderous Ruben Dias header from a corner and then Raphael Guerreiro hit the post with a sweet shot for the first time from the edge of the box.

    Deep in extra time, Portugal created a final chance, but Felix’s move took the right side of Courtois.

    Belgium will face Italy, who beat Austria 2-1 on Saturday in Munich on July 2nd. The Italians are unbeaten in their last 31 games.

    Newsvibe24 Source