Belgium eased past into the quarterfinals after a 1-0 win over defending champions Portugal. Thorgan Hazard inspired the Red Devils in a tough defensive match.
The Navigators had a frustrating time in front of the goal as Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was always kept busy. However, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t surpass the record of most goals ever for a nation in the Euros.
The Belgians next lock horns with unbeaten Italy in a blockbuster quarterfinal.
Belgium 1-0 Portugal : Team News
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez fielded a 3-4-2-1 formation. However, they made six changes to the starting 11 after the 2-0 win against Finland.
Whereas, Fernando Santos fielded a 4-3-3 formation and made two changes in the starting line-up.
Belgium 1-0 Portugal : Analysis
Belgium were playing it safe and were looking to attack most of the times. Thus, they hardly exposed their three-men defence and Axel Witsel was very well covering the defenders. Whereas, Portugal were keeping the majority of the possession (58%) and had almost 23 shots (out of them only four were on target).
Romelu Lukaku was playing a new role and was busy creating chances. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo was well dealt by the Belgian defenders as well as by Witsel. However, he forced a brilliant save by Courtois in the 27th minute and was still looking dangerous. Thomas Meunier was in top form in the match and was also threatening Portuguese defence.
But, it was the young Thorgan Hazard who finally broke the deadlock after a sumptuous strike three minutes before the halftime. In the second half, the Portuguese were clearly the better side but to no avail.
Joao Felix was brought in late and he tried his best to equalize. But, Witsel and the Belgian defenders were successful in keeping him away from Courtois.
Thorgan Hazard (7.5/10) – Another stellar performance from the Borussia Dortmund youngster. He had been doing a fantastic job alongside his brother, Eden Hazard.
Axel Witsel (7/10) – ‘Superb defensive masterclass’. These three words that sums up his performance against Portugal.
Joao Moutinho (5/10) – He was giving away possession multiple times and making some silly fouls.
Next up, the Hazard brothers face an ultimate test against Italians, who are on a 31-match unbeaten run!
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