Belgium 1 Portugal 0: Cristiano Ronaldo and Euro holders OUT after Thorgan Hazard thunderbolt puts world No1s through

IT was always going to take something special to upstage Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin de Bruyne.

And boy did Thorgan Hazard produce it.

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Eden’s younger brother fired Belgium into the last eight with a shot straight from paradise.

His stunning first-half strike sent holders Portugal crashing out of Euro 2020 and reduced their superstar skipper Cristiano Ronaldo to tears.

But there were only tears of joy in the Belgian camp as they now face a quarter-final against Italy in Munich on Friday.

After spending the last 1,000 days ranked No1 in the world, Roberto Martinez’s men will now feel it is their time to deliver a major international trophy.

The former Wigan and Everton boss certainly looked the part as he stood on the edge of his technical area dressed to the nines in a smart royal blue suit with crisp white shirt and blue tie.

Only a Spaniard could wear a suit in 32c and remain ice cool.

But he would have been feeling the heat when Portugal had the first chance of the night as Renato Sanches played in Diogo Jota down the left channel.

But the Liverpool man’s shot across goal was awful, bobbling well wide of the target.


All eyes were on Portugal’s 109-goal talisman Ronaldo – the joint-all time highest scorer in international football – as he chased the goal that would give him the record all to himself.

But the stats showed Ronaldo touched the ball just three times in the opening 10 minutes.

He then deserved an Oscar – or a place in the next series of Strictly – for the way he pirouetted to the floor after running into Thomas Meunier’s shoulder in a clear bid to earn the Belgian a foul, booking or both.

He went down as though he had been shot by Darcey Bussell.

But the crafty old winker was just having us on as he reminded us of the gold in his boots with one of his trademark thunderous free kicks which Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois did well to block.

And as the half-hour mark approached Ronaldo back-heeled a 20-yard pass to a team-mate suggesting his storm was brewing.

But it was the Juventus superstar and his Portugal pals who were on the end of a bolt from the blue as Hazard junior collected a pass on the left from Meunier.

The Borussia Dortmund wideman took a touch inside before unleashing a 25-yard right footed drive that had plenty of draw on it as it curled away from the despairing reach of Rui Patricio in the Portugal goal.

It was Thorgan’s second goal of the tournament and its importance was paramount.

With both of these titans inevitably failing to live up to the pre-match hype, the team who managed to get their noses in front were always going to have the advantage.

Belgium suffered a blow at the start of the second half De Bruyne had to be replaced by Dries Mertens after a rough challenge by Joao Palhinha.

They nearly suffered another when Ronaldo’s ball into the box found Jota, but once again the former Wolves man’s finishing let him down as he blazed his shot over from 12 yards.

As clocked ticked down, Portugal stepped up their efforts for an equaliser.

Ruben Dias had a bullet header from a corner fisted away by Courtois, who was then relieved to see Raphael Guerreiro’s shot smack the post before rebounding to safety.

Belgium had to defend for their lives – with striker Romelu Lukaku worthy of a special mention for the immense work he did ploughing the furrow up front – but when Danilo dragged his shot wide that was that.

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