Belgium played Portugal at La Cartuja in Seville for their fixture in the Round of 16 of the Euro 2020 tournament.
Both sides came with the strongest squads in world football right now. Belgium’s golden generation are currently ranked first in the world while Portugal tried to defend their European title with an in-form Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Iberians were showing early signs of trouble to their opponents as they had a solid chance to bury the game in the 6th minute.
Renato Sanches beat Leicester’s Youri Tielemans on the ball and fed it to Jota on his left. Sadly, the Liverpool forward dragged his shot wide from goal.
Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen conceded a freekick after handballing from a tackle just outside the Belgian box. This was Ronaldo’s chance to bag the first goal from a freekick in this tournament.
The Portugal captain stepped up to deliver a low-driven knuckle ball into the box that Thibaut Courtois got his hands to. From the rebound, Sporting’s João Palhinha got a weak header in from six-yards, only for the Belgium No.1 to catch the ball comfortably in his hands.
Belgium was holding most of the possession in the first half but were weary of the counter attacking chances that their opponents could capitalise on.
The Red Devils finally made a breakthrough in the 42nd minute from a scary attack into the Portuguese box.
After numerous failed attempts to score, Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard was fed the ball outside the box and bended a magnificent shot from 25-yards.
The first half ended 1-0 as Belgium were determined to knock out the current European champions.
In the second half, Belgian’s star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne had to be subbed off after taking a knock from Palhinha in the first. Dries Mertens came on to replace the Premier League winner.
Diogo Jota had another big chance for Portugal after Ronaldo dribbled past several Belgian players and delivered a ball to him in the box. The 24-year-old blazed the ball over the bar to the frustration of Portuguese fans.
Just after the hour-mark João Felix had a chance to equalise after Sanches crossed the ball into the box to meet the Atletico forward’s head. Courtois saved this attempt comfortably too.
Portugal was consistently trying to find the goal to keep them in the Euros with amazing chances, but to no effect.
The game ended 1-0 as Belgium go on to face Italy in the quarter finals.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 via Twitter