Belgium goal 1-0 vs. Portugal

Euro 2020 Round of 16.

The last 16 round of the European championship is underway and we lot Netherlands. The Dutch were outplayed by Czech Republic 2-0 and are eliminated after winning their first three matches, at home in Amsterdam. 

De Ligt sees red

Absolutely, the moment of the match when the Oranje defender de Ligt saw red for a handball near the penalty box to prevent on one-on-one for the Czech. The mistake cost the Dutch the match as they were outclassed from that point forward. Netherlands had an “easier” path to the Euro final 4 as they would have faced Denmark in the quarterfinal round. Instead they were sent home early and coach de Boer fails again, after failing with Atlanta United in the MLS. Changes are coming for the Holland national team. 

Netherlands, coach De Boer on the exit: “Games like this revolve around one or two moments. We had one of them, with Donyell [Malen], and then a few seconds later we were down to 10 men. And the worst thing you can do against a team like this is to fall behind. Then they can just play the game exactly the way they want to.”

Italy 2-1 Austria

Italy struggled to beat Austria in overtime after the game was scoreless at the end of regulation. But two goals in overtime send the Italians onto the semifinal round where they will face the mighty Belgian Red Devils. 

Italy coach, Mancini:  “We knew we had to suffer because Austria are the typical side who do not allow to play well. The substitutes made the difference for us, but everybody gave their best tonight. I’m happy because the lads gave everything to win even when we were tired.”

Belgium 1-0 Portugal

The 2018 World Cup third place team, Belgium eliminated the 2016 Euro winners Portugal. T. Hazard scored the sole game in this match from a superb strike outside the penalty box. Portugal had chances to equalize but Cristiano Ronaldo was well muted in this game by the Belgium defense. The superstar finishes the tournament with a record of 5 goals in 4 matches (best as of Round of 16 stages), tying all-time scoring record at the international level. 

Belgium head coach, Martinez on the win: “We showed incredible concentration and defended really well. We controlled the game and defended well when we had to. We scored a very good goal. Then in the second half, as you would expect, the momentum went to Portugal more. We had to show an incredible mentality. Everything was about those aspects of being tactically disciplined and very, very astute. If we had used the final ball and our possession better, we would probably have had a lot of joy from those risks that Portugal took.”