Belgium send title holder Portugal packing, move into last eight - GulfToday

Belgium send title holder Portugal packing, move into last eight


Cristiano Ronaldo and Jan Vertonghen vie for the ball. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Defending champions Portugal crashed out of the Euro after a shock 1-0 loss in a round of 16 match against Belgium on Sunday.

Thorgan Hazard scored the lone goal of the match to send the holders out of the tournament as Belgium punched their ticket in the last eight of the continental event.

Hazard opened the scoring in the 42nd minute to give Belgium a vital 1-0 lead.  He latched on to a pass from Dortmund defender Thomas Meunier straight away sent the ball into the nets.

Portugal-Belgium-2 Portugal's Ruben Dias heads the ball. Reuters

After the goal, Belgium went into the defensive mode and frustrated an attacking Portugal to keep them at bay. Portugal despite creating 22 chances to find the back of the net.

Even Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the highest scorer in international matches after breaking the record of Iran’s Ali Daei, failed to create any magic and pull one back for Portugal.

Portugal were playing firebrand football and created many chances but could not convert them into goals.

This was Hazard’s second goal of the tournament, having scored the first one against Denmark in the last match of the group stage.

Belgium had finished on the top of their group while Portugal qualified as one of four best runners-up.

The top two teams from every group and the four best third-place teams advanced to the last eight.

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