Euro 2020: Thorgan Hazard’s stunning strike eliminates Portugal and puts Belgium in quarter-finals

Thorgan Hazard’s stunning strike gave Belgium a 1-0 win over holders Portugal to secure their place at the Euro 2020 quarter-finals and meet Italy in Munich where they will be looking to score for a 34th successive game to book a spot in the semifinals.

Euro 2016 winners exit round of 16 stages as Belgium beat them for the first time since 1989, the time when 19 of their 26-man squad were not even born.

Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard struck a rocket just before the halftime of 42nd minute and gave his side an early lead to dominate Portugal and became the only Belgian to score in consecutive Euro appearances.

Portugal had few better chances to dominate but Diogo Jota fired wide and Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick was saved by Thibaut Courtois with a dive. The players became frustrated and that kept increasing throughout the game as their hopes for the trophy diminished. Defending champs of 2016 failed to score for the first time in 9 Euro final tournament matches.

Thorgan Hazard was rewarded as Star of the Match for his absurd strike to put Belgium to the last 8.

Belgium will continue to fight but with some injury problems to deal with. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard had to leave the pitch early following discomfort. De Bruyne had recently returned from the facial injury he faced in the Champions League final vs Chelsea may be in doubt to face Italy along with Real Madrid’s Hazard.

 

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