Hazard-inspired Belgium blow away Hungary
Belgium set up a quarter-final against Wales with a superb Eden Hazard-inspired display in which he got one of the three late goals.
An early Toby Alderweireld header was the prelude to three late goals that sent Belgium past Hungary and into a UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final against Wales.
Hungary had a pre-game blow when László Kleinheisler was injured in the warm-up and Ádám Pintér was pressed into action. As if emboldened, Belgium started just as Wales did in beating Russia 3-0 in the last Toulouse group game, tearing into Hungary and taking the lead when Alderweireld rose to head in a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick.
Gábor Király did brilliantly to tip another De Bruyne set piece onto the crossbar; the Manchester City man, Eden Hazard and Dries Martens – preferred to Yannick Carrasco – were buzzing about behind Romelu Lukaku, swapping positions at will and launching attacks with the aid of Axel Witsel and Radja Nainggolan.
Király made seven first-half saves and his eighth was seconds after the break to deny Hazard, and although Hungary then had a promising spell, Belgium were soon back in control. And two minutes after his introduction, Michy Batshuayi marked his first finals appearance by tapping in a Hazard pass with his maiden touch. Two minutes later Hazard's shot made it three, capping a display in which he had given full rein to his talents, and Carrasco, also off the bench, claimed the fourth at the death.
Man of the match: Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Hazard is going back to his former club home of Lille to face Wales and tonight he put on the sort of performance the LOSC fans got to know all too well in his time there. Not just in attack, with his late assist and then goal, but also in breaking up Hungary attacks, intercepting lots of passes and tracking back to fine effect.
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Report courtesy to UEFA Euro Release
Published: Mon Jun 27, 2016 02:48 AM IST