Belgium managed a hold their early lead to secure 1-0 win over Portugal in the European Championship earlier tonight. This would be a heartbreak for Portugal and their talismanic leader Cristiano Ronaldo to end their Euro 2020 journey so early.
A goal from Thorgan Hazard ensured that the Red Devils are in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Here at Anytime football, we look at the major talking points from tonight’s contest.
Cristiano Ronaldo marked out of the game
Despite not managing to score a lot of goals, Belgium were efficient and well disciplined. They managed to keep Portugal’s key player Cristiano Ronaldo quiet for most of the game.
The 36-year-old had scored five goals in the European Championships before tonight, and he will be disappointed to have come away empty-handed.
Most fans would have expected a big performance from the Portuguese international tonight, but Belgium ensured that Ronaldo had very little to do throughout the 90 minutes.
This would perhaps be last European Championship for Ronaldo with the most talented Portugal side in two decades.
Injuries to Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne
Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was taken off around the 48th-minute mark after the Manchester City midfielder complained of an injury.
The 29-year-old has been outstanding for Belgium since returning to the international fold for the final two group games, and the Red Devils will be hoping to have him back in time for the quarter-finals now.
De Bruyne is one of the best players in the world, and Belgium cannot afford to lose him for the rest of the tournament. Meanwhile, Eden Hazard was taken off on the 87th minute after the Real Madrid star pulled up with a hamstring issue.
His career has been plagued with injuries ever since he left Chelsea and the last thing the Belgian requires is to miss out on the remainder of the European Championships with another injury.
Romelu Lukaku‘s hold up play
The Belgian international did not manage to get on the score sheet tonight, but his overall play was outstanding.
The Inter Milan striker managed to hold onto the ball for as long as possible and bring his teammates into the game when Portugal were chasing the contest.
The 28-year-old striker has managed to score three goals in the European Championships so far, and he will be hoping to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo and win the golden boot this summer.
The Portuguese defence struggled to get the ball off Romelu Lukaku during his hold up play, and that allowed the Belgium defence to reorganize themselves for another onslaught.