Belgium are the favourites to win this year’s Euro, but tonight at Seville in the Round of 16 clash against Portugal they were below-par and clearly, Portugal were unlucky. Portugal dominated the game and had been denied several times – so close, yet so far. Portugal, the defending champions, are out of the tournament and perhaps, this might be the last time we witnessed the great Cristiano Ronaldo in this event.

The start of the defending champions was inspiring as Renato Sanches played in Diogo Jota for the first chance of the match. It was not an easy chance for Jota, but he’d have liked to have done better there. His effort was rolled well wide in the end.

Renato Sanches bossed the midfield and ran forward beating the Belgian wall and attempted a courageous shot, which was not fruitful.

Portugal won a free-kick and Cristiano Ronaldo was, of course, the one to take it – he produced a low one with enough swerve on the ball and Courtois managed to parry, before Belgium eventually clear their lines.

Diogo Jalot got forward and brought the ball down excellently on his chest, setting up a shot at goal. But, it was no problem for Courtois as the effort bounced well wide.

The momentum was with Portugal and against the run of play; Thorgan Hazard produced a breathtaking moment.

He hit a shot from a distance that swerved on its way towards Rui Patricio, confusing the goalkeeper a little and rippling the back of the net.

Out of nowhere, Belgium took the lead, but after the break, Portugal came back stronger.

In between, Kevin de Bruyne had to walk off limping and that left a big hole in the creative section of the Red Devils.

Their only plan was to hold off Portugal and cash in on the counter.

Diogo Jota hit a decent chance well over, while Fernando Santos has also sent on Joao Felix. These are Joao Felix’s first minutes of the tournament and he quickly has a header that Courtois has to save.

There was a second dangerous free-kick for Cristiano Ronaldo of this match, after forcing a save from Courtois in the first half. This time, though, the No.7 struck it into a Belgian defender.

There are some harsh challenges as we enter the final quarter of an hour. One of them came from Pepe, to nobody’s surprise. He knocked Thorgan Hazard down and the Belgian players charged in his direction. It was just a yellow for Pepe.

Portugal pushed hard as time was running out and they get off a shot on target.

But, Courtois is perfectly positioned to push away Ruben Dias’ header.

Then, Raphael Guerreiro hit a volley and it looked like it was sneaking in, only for his strike to rebound off the post.

In the dying moments, Courtois was alert and brave, getting down low to get to a dropping ball before Andre Silva. The Belgian goalkeeper was hurt, but was able to continue as Belgium look to take this lead to the finish the line.

Belgium had a three-on-two counterattack as they look to kill off the game, but Yannick Carrasco wasn’t able to feed the ball to Youri Tielemans.


And that was it – Portugal failed to get past Courtois on a night where they were the better side and deserved to win, but kudos to the Belgian goalkeeper, who kept the hopes of Belgium alive.

Facebook Comments