Belgium secured their berth in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 with a hard-fought 1-0 win over holders Portugal at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville. The Red Devils edged past Cristiano Ronaldo and company thanks to an excellent strike from Thorgan Hazard in the 42nd minute.
⏰ RESULT ⏰— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 27, 2021
🇧🇪 Belgium through to the quarter-finals 🎉
🇵🇹 Holders Portugal eliminated in round of 16
🤔 How far will the Red Devils go? #EURO2020
The Borussia Dortmund star received the ball from Thomas Meunier and wrapped his foot around it from outside the box to find the far corner in spectacular fashion. Portugal did respond well in the second half, but eventually fell short as Raphael Guerreiro was denied a late equalizer after his shot stayed out off the upright.
Belgium, who are the top-ranked team in the world, will face Italy in the quarter-finals as they continue their quest for a first major piece of silverware.
Let’s take a closer look at how each player from both sides performed during the game:
Belgium Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois – 7/10
Courtois showed excellent command inside the Belgium six-yard area. He was tested by a swerving free-kick from Ronaldo in the first half and went down quickly to thwart the attempt. The shot-stopper also excelled with his positioning and reacted well to a header from Ruben Dias late on in the game, though the shot was straight at him.
Toby Alderweireld – 7/10
Alderweireld looked extremely comfortable playing out from the back. He always looked to get further up the pitch and contribute to Belgium’s exploits going forward. However, the defender was lucky not to be punished early on after being dragged wide to open up space for Diogo Jota. He was eventually forced to help out extensively at the back as Portugal pushed for the equalizer.
Thomas Vermaelen – 8/10
Coped exceedingly well with the threat of Ronaldo. Vermaelen was brilliant in the air and hardly put a foot wrong in the first half. The veteran also produced a number of blocks and interceptions, playing an integral role in helping Belgium maintain their slender lead until the final whistle.
🔎 | FOCUS— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) June 27, 2021
Thomas Vermaelen was the rock at the heart of Belgium's defence:
👌 41 touches
👟 25/28 acc. passes
⚔️ 7/10 duels won
🚀 5 clearances (most)
⛔️ 2 blocked shots (most)
❌ 3 tackles
🧲 2 interceptions
🚷 0 times dribbled past
📈 7.6 SofaScore rating#EURO2020 #BELPOR pic.twitter.com/K8QyJqiggk
Jan Vertonghen – 7/10
He was not overly troubled in the first half due to the ineffectiveness of Silva down that flank. Regardless, Vertonghen remained switched on at all times. It was only after the hour mark that he was really tested by Portugal, and he managed to come away unscathed to keep Belgium’s clean sheet intact.
Thomas Meunier – 8/10
Meunier did not have the best of starts to the game. Despite occupying advanced areas on the flank, the wing-back was unable to threaten enough with his delivery on more than one occasion. As the game progressed, however, Meunier also grew in confidence. The 29-year-old squared the ball to Hazard for the Belgium goal and played his part in the outcome of the game.
Youri Tielemans – 7/10
Deployed in a deeper role in midfield, Tielemans looked up to the Portugal challenge throughout. The Leicester City star was quick to try and close down his counterparts and produced a number of excellent tackles in key areas. Tielemans also consistently tried to pick the ideal pass and was fantastic on the ball for Belgium.
Axel Witsel – 6/10
Witsel is still not at his best after sustaining an Achilles injury. But he still ensured he held his own amidst pressure from Portugal. The midfielder adds balance and level-headedness to the Belgium system and remains invaluable due to his experience.
Thorgan Hazard – 9/10
Hazard was simply outstanding throughout. In addition to a sensational strike that won the game for his side, he worked exceptionally well on the flanks. His ability to get up and down with vigor and determination frustrated Portugal. This might have just been Hazard’s best ever match for Belgium considering the magnitude of the occasion.
2 – Thorgan Hazard is the first ever Belgian to score in consecutive EURO appearances. Threat. pic.twitter.com/Bqn4cBtSu5— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) June 27, 2021
Kevin De Bruyne – 5/10
De Bruyne did not find the kind of space and time on the ball to operate at the peak of his powers in the first half. Unfortunately, he was unable to shake off the effects of a challenge by Palhinha and had to be withdrawn early in the second half.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
The mercurial forward did not come off the blocks firing on all cylinders, but slowly settled down and showed signs of true quality. Hazard protected the ball well and impressed with his flicks and quick bursts of pace in the second half. The only drawback was his request to be withdrawn after what looked like a pulled muscle. Belgium will hope it is nothing serious.
Romelu Lukaku – 7/10
No goals for Lukaku, but he brings more than just that aspect to this team. The Inter Milan striker showed good strength to hold the ball up and bring his teammates into play. Lukaku’s movement was also key in freeing up space for the opening goal, while he was a constant threat on the break in the second half for Belgium.
Dries Mertens – 6/10
The diminutive forward replaced the injured de Bruyne in the 48th minute. Mertens did not leave a lasting impression inside the final third, but just about did whatever he was asked to do in the first place.
Yannick Carrasco – N/A
Carrasco replaced Eden Hazard in the 87th minute, but did not have enough time to impact the game.
Leander Dendoncker – N/A
The Wolves midfielder came on for Thorgan Hazard in the 95th minute in a bid to kill more time as Belgium looked to see out the win.