Eden Hazard fears he suffered a serious hamstring injury after Belgium eliminated defending champions Portugal in the Euro 2020 last 16 as Roberto Martinez also awaits news on star Kevin De Bruyne.
Belgium ousted Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 1-0 en route to the quarter-finals on Sunday but it may have come at a cost, with Hazard and De Bruyne both hobbling off in Seville.
Thorgan Hazard’s stunning long-range strike set up a showdown with in-form Italy, however, it was overshadowed by brother Eden Hazard, who clutched his hamstring as he left the field late in the match after De Bruyne succumbed to an ankle problem early in the second half.
Afterwards, Eden Hazard – who has been hampered by injuries since joining Real Madrid in 2019 – told reporters: “I hurt myself, I felt something in the hamstring.
I think I have something, we’ll see tomorrow. We will analyse the injury well, we will see the extent afterwards.
“As captain, I will stay with the group because I have an important role to play.”
2 – Thorgan Hazard is the first ever Belgian to score in consecutive EURO appearances. Threat. pic.twitter.com/Bqn4cBtSu5
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) June 27, 2021
Thorgan Hazard said: “I hope it’s not a big injury but it doesn’t look so good. The medical staff in Belgium is very good so we hope everything will be ok for the rest of the tournament. Also for Kevin because we need these two players to go forward.”
Joao Palhinha’s challenge on De Bruyne in the 45th minute saw the Belgium star substituted shortly after the restart, as head coach Martinez added: “We will take 48 hours now to assess the situation of the two players.
“We go back to Belgium now and they will have scans on the injuries tomorrow.
“It’s too early to say how they are doing. With Kevin, it’s the ankle — he couldn’t really turn in the second half. With Eden it’s the muscle, but we have to wait for a diagnosis.”
23 – Belgium faced 23 shots against Portugal, the most they’ve faced since allowing 27 shots against Brazil in 2018 in a World Cup match, with this their 35th game since. Stoic. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/CuRuaoSiZR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 27, 2021
Belgium claimed their first win over Portugal since September 1989 (3-0 in a World Cup qualifier) – ending a run of five meetings without a victory against them (D2 L3).
The Red Devils also equalled their longest winning streak at major tournaments, winning five in a row for the second time (both under Martinez). Belgium have won 10 of their 11 games across the World Cup and European Championships since the Spaniard took charge.
“We had incredible concentration and defended really well,” said Martinez. “We scored a very good goal. In the second half the more the momentum went to Portugal we had to show an incredible mentality. Everything was about being disciplined and tactically astute.
“We never lost concentration and there were difficult moments. The way Portugal pushed for victory until the end, this gives me incredible satisfaction.
“This is what a winning team needs. We know the talent we have but all the other elements you need were shown today. For us it was the biggest test there is.”
Belgium have scored six goals from outside the box in the last two European Championships (2016 and 2020); at least twice as many as any other team in this period.
Thorgan Hazard was the fifth different Belgian player to score from outside the box in the competition since 2016, along with Radja Nainggolan (two), De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard.
Belgium’s Thorgan Hazard netted in consecutive games for the country for the first time, while he has now scored four international goals since his brother Eden last scored for the national team.
“I think the trajectory was a little bit weird for the goalkeeper,” Thorgan Hazard said after his goal was compared to Ronaldo. “I tried my luck.
“In these matches, if you have an opportunity or you have a chance, you always have to try and with a little bit of luck, it went it. Especially as this was a qualifying goal so it’s a dream.”
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