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EURO 2020: Belgium set up Italy clash after beating holders Portugal

EURO 2020: Belgium set up Italy clash after beating holders Portugal

Thorgan Hazard 42nd minute goal proved enough to knock out holders Portugal as Belgium continued their pursuit of a first major title by reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

The Borussia Dortmund winger’s swerving drive from 25 yards arrived late in a cagey first-half and proved enough for Roberto Martinez’s side to set up a mouth-watering meeting with Italy on Friday.

Portugal – who again only introduced Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes from the bench – will look back on key Diogo Jota chances, a Ruben Dias header that was saved and a late Raphael Guerreiro drive that struck the post.

Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness may dominate headlines in the build-up to the Italy showdown in Munich after he limped off moments after half-time, and Belgium also lost Eden Hazard to a complaint late on.

The world’s highest-ranked side may have key holes to fill but again they have showed they possess the grit to complement their undoubted quality.

Belgium, who make it four wins in four at this tournament, next travel to Munich on Friday to do battle with Italy in what should be an enticing quarter-final clash. Portugal, who have failed to repeat their 2016 heroics, have to accept their European Championship is over and they next host the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers in September.

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