It was a close contest in Seville, with a stunner from Thorgan Hazard proving just enough to send the titleholders crashing out of the tournament.
Belgium narrowly edged out Portugal in a tense Euro 2020 Round of 16 clash to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Both teams had a couple of chances to take the lead in the first 45 minutes. Diogo Jota dragged a shot wide of the far post and Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a free-kick goal by Thibaut Courtois. At the other end of the pitch, Thorgan Hazard’s effort was blocked by a wall of defenders while Thomas Meunier’s outside-of-the-foot shot sailed away from the target.
Belgium finally succeeded in breaking the deadlock just before the break. The younger one of the Hazard brothers opened the scoring with a peach of a strike as he, after taking two quick touches upon recieving a pass from Meunier, smashed a right-footed effort that curled away from Rui Patricio and into the bottom right corner of the net.
The defending champions came close to equalizing in the second period, with Dota, Joao Felix, Ruben Dias, and Raphael Guerreiro among those scaring the opposition defense, but they just couldn’t save their blushes.
Up next for Belgium is a meeting with Italy, who are on an impressive 31-game unbeaten streak, at Allianz Arena on Friday night.
Belgium vs Portugal Player Ratings
Belgium: Courtois – 7, Alderweireld – 6, Vermaelen – 8, Vertonghen – 6, Meunier – 6, Tielemans – 7, Witsel – 6, T. Hazard – 8, De Bruyne – 6, Lukaku – 6, E. Hazard – 7, Mertens – 6, Carrasco – 6, Dendoncker – N/A
Portugal: Patricio – 5, Dalot – 6, Pepe – 6, Dias – 6, Guerreiro – 6, Palhinha – 7, Moutinho – 6, Sanches – 7, B. Silva – 3, Ronaldo – 6, Jota – 6, Fernandes – 6, Felix – 6, A. Silva – 5, Danilo – 6, Oliveira – 6