The Devils you know: Belgium dump Ronaldo & Portugal OUT of Euro 2020 after Thorgan Hazard stunner – but lose De Bruyne to injury
With his older brother Eden still yet to hit the back of the net for the Red Devils in 20 months, Thorgan Hazard scored the winner late in the first half.
Beating Rui Patricio with a bending shot from outside the 18-yard box, he sent the Wolves 'keeper scrambling across goal to no avail.
Unable to surpass Ali Daei's all-time international goalscoring record, Cristiano Ronaldo had a good chance with a free kick that tested Thibaut Courtois, but has now successfully converted just one dead ball opportunity in 51 attempts at major tournaments.
With Renato Sanches getting the nod this time from Fernando Santos, Portugal began brightly with Diogo Jota latching on to his ball between defenders but failing to hit the target.
Midway through the first half, the ex-Bayern Munich midfielder shot from distance and was even further from troubling Courtois' goal.
Then on 25 minutes, Ronaldo forced Courtois to parry a free kick as his partner Georgina Rodriguez watched on from the stands, but the headed rebound couldn't be kept down by Joao Palhinha.Also on rt.com Ronaldo trolled as WOEFUL free-kick record continues vs Belgium while stunning partner Georgina watches on at Euro 2020
With half time approaching, Hazard became the hero of the evening by letting rip from the top corner of the 18-yard box and leaving Patricio stumped with one of the strikes of the tournament.
Early in the second half, Kevin De Bruyne was brought off injured with Ronaldo complimented for his sportsmanship in checking on the Manchester City playmaker before he left the field.
Ronaldo checks on Kevin De Bruyne before the Belgian was forced off with injury. Respect. pic.twitter.com/DfxUwUNRMY— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) June 27, 2021
Looking for a solution, Santos made a double substitution in bringing off Joao Moutinho and Bernardo Silva for Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix.
Portugal were better as they pushed for an equalizer, with Ronaldo playing a lovely ball into Jota's feet in the box that he again struggled to turn into something productive.
In total, the defending champions had 23 efforts without a return which was a tournament record for a single game.
As Felix was on target with a header and later hit the last attempt of the game just past the post, Raphael Guerreiro came closest when hitting the post in the 82nd minute.
BELGIUM 1-0 PORTUGALSo close for Portugal! Ruben Dias denied and then Raphael Guerreiro hits the post. pic.twitter.com/GetJSWebov— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) June 27, 2021
Like Ronaldo in the Euro 2016 final won against France, De Bruyne made a good coach from the sidelines roaring his teammates on, who had good chances on the break but were halted by a stubborn Pepe booked at one point in the proceedings.
As Roberto Martinez's men held on for the win, Portugal crashed out in the last 16 and Belgium will now face Italy in Munich on Friday.