Belgium set up to face Italy into the Quarter-final


The swerving drive from 25 yards by the Borussia Dortmund winger arrived late in the first half. And it carried Roberto Martinez’s team into a mouth-watering match against Italy on Friday.

Portugal will look back on key Diogo Jota chances after introducing Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes from the bench. A Ruben Dias header was saved, as was a late Raphael Guerreiro drive that hit the post.

Furthermore, Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness may dominate headlines in the run-up to the Italy match in Munich after he limped off moments after halftime.

Furthermore, the world’s top team may have the key holes to fill next. However, they have demonstrated the ability to fill their undeniable quality.

Portugal’s Efforts Come too Late

As Ronaldo crouched and hit the turf in frustration at Seville’s Estadio de La Cartuja, Martinez punched the air and shouted “yes.”

In the 45th minute, his team had probably played their best football of the tournament, amassing 15 of the top 23 shots of the night.

Dias warmed the hands of Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with an empty header after Jota fired a shot. And Guerreiro hit the post, while substitute Joao Felix dragged a late effort wide.

Manager Fernando Santos may be asked where such a second-half performance has been hiding.

Portugal won one tournament match in 90 minutes on its way to the trophy in 2016. And despite reaching the last 16 final, they did not advance.

It’s also perplexing that they seemed hesitant to use their undeniable talent to control the games. And now that Ronaldo, now 36, is preparing for another major tournament, he may be the center of attention.

He will undoubtedly continue to distance himself from former Iran striker Ali Daei, even though the two currently share a total of 109 international goals.

Furthermore, his disappointment at the final whistle was palpable, as Portugal declared deception in this regard following its meteoric rise to fame in 2016.

Talisman Lukaku has been Tamed, but Belgium is Digging

Martinez is now only three victories away from delivering a major title for Belgium. He correctly concluded that his team had to overcome the fact that Portugal’s best character is “doing exactly what they need to do in the game to win.”

As it turned out, Belgium’s record of only being beaten once in 27 games was sufficient to see the winning side prevail. Martinez will be encouraged to have his team look like a multi-faceted unit.

Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who have over 240 caps between them, were honored. While players like Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Dries Mertens have over 100 caps or are close to it, Martinez should call it.

Talisman Lukaku remained silent, only touching the ball 30 times. Only Bernardo Silva of Portugal played more than 56 minutes. And saw a small ball for all the outfielders, to begin with.

And disinterest was evident, as Belgium only managed six shots on goal overnight. Thorgan Hazard’s effort, which took the ball away from Rui Patricio, was their moment to pause. And they seemed content to keep Portugal at bay rather than press on.

Eden Hazard took the Lead Right Away

De Bruyne was knocked to the ground just before halftime and saved only seconds of the second half. At the same time, Eden Hazard took an early lead.

Both will be the most costly errors against Italy. Only Belgium won all of its team games and remained in the tournament.

Because of their outstanding performances thus far, many have predicted that Roberto Mancini’s side will go all the way.

Belgium may not have achieved such a high level of entertainment in this country. But they undoubtedly pack enough punch to put an end to such opposition.

The four World Cup qualifiers and European Championships in 1968 will go a long way toward bolstering Belgian hopes for a successful year.

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