Thorgan Hazard on his Portugal wondergoal and Belgium’s injury worries
Thorgan Hazard gave his thoughts on his stunning winner for Belgium against Portugal in the round of 16 at Euro 2020. Thorgan also spoke about the injuries suffered by his brother Eden as well as midfielder star Kevin De Bruyne during the victory.
Thorgan Hazard netted with a wonder strike as Belgium ended Portugal’s reign as European champions with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Seville.
The first half was a cagey affair with few opportunities and little goal threat until Thorgan Hazard lit up the contest with his moment of quality. Portugal’s Diogo Jota had an early chance when he was played into the box by Renato Sanches but he screwed a left-foot shot across goal. Belgium did not have a look at goal until the 20th minute when Thorgan Hazard tried his luck from distance but Diogo Dalot blocked.
Portugal talisman Ronaldo lined up a free-kick in the 24th minute but Thibaut Courtois pushed away his swerving effort. Dalot also had a chance but was flagged offside before volleying wide. The game appeared to be meandering towards the interval when Thorgan Hazard struck out of the blue to put Belgium ahead.
Romelu Lukaku held the ball up in the box before it was fed to the younger of the two Hazard brothers 20 yards out. The Borussia Dortmund player connected with a fierce drive which swerved and deceived Rui Patricio. That changed the complexion of the game and Belgium threatened again moments later and forced Ruben Dias to slice an awkward clearance towards his own goal. Patricio this time saved comfortably.
Yet just as they were getting on top, Belgium were forced into retreat early in the second half as key player De Bruyne was forced off injured. The Manchester City playmaker was still feeling the effects of an earlier challenge from Paulinha and looked dejected as he admitted defeat and was replaced by Dries Mertens.
Ronaldo sensed a chance and had a shot blocked before combining with Dalot to create a chance for Jota but the Liverpool forward shot over. Courtois then saved a header from substitute Joao Felix and Ronaldo hit the wall with another free-kick.
Belgium were seeing less of the ball but Lukaku tried to relieve some pressure with a shot that flew wide from distance. The game became niggly as time ran down. There were clear signs of Portuguese frustration as Pepe was booked for catching Eden Hazard high with his arm. The referee had been trying to stop play at the time after Lukaku had gone down with a head injury.
Portugal roused themselves for one last push but Courtois saved from a Dias header and Guerreiro thumped a volley against the base of the post. Felix put their final chance wide.
Belgium 1-0 Portugal