Euro 2020: Thorgan Hazard’s strike eliminates Portugal

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Image courtesy Twitter account of Euro 2020
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Portugal’s defence of their European title came to an end in the round of 16.

They lost to Belgium by a solitary goal in Seville – a beautifully struck right footer by the lesser known of the Hazard brothers, Thorgan.

Portugal started strongly and created several early chances.

Diogo Jota dragged a shot wide and a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick crashed into the outstretched palms of Thibaut Courtois like a rocket.

The Red Devils were more subdued and failed to trouble Rui Patrício until close to the interval, when Thorgan Hazard produced a moment of magic.

His vicious swerving effort dipped and swung away from Patricio to break the deadlock.

As the minutes ticked away, Portugal increased the intensity of their attacks.

Rúben Dias’s header tested Belgian keeper, Courtois and Raphaël Guerreiro fired a shot that hit the post, but Belgium’s luck held.

Belgium lost the services of Kevin De Bruyne shortly after half-time but showed their steel by not buckling down.

Portugal failed to score for the first time in nine Euro matches.

This is the second consecutive Euro tournament in which the champions exited in the last 16, after Spain in 2016.

Thorgan Hazard has now scored four goals in his seven appearances for Belgium in 2021.

Line-ups

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, T. Hazard (Dendoncker 90); De Bruyne (Mertens 48), Lukaku, E. Hazard (Carrasco 87)

Portugal: Rui Patrício; Dalot, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; João Moutinho (João Félix 55), João Palhinha (Danilo 78), Renato Sanches (Sérgio Oliveira 78); Bernardo Silva (Bruno Fernandes 55), Ronaldo, Diogo Jota (André Silva 70)