Eden Hazard ran the show in France as Belgium demolished Hungary 4-0 to advance through to the quarter-finals.
The game seemed to be a crucial one, with Hungary out to prove a point about why they had been able to get through the groups and into the knockouts because most people had written them off before the tournament started. This was also Belgium’s first knockout game at a European Championships Finals since 1980, 36 years ago.
The first real chance came in the 10th minute and Belgium took their chance when Kevin De Bruyne floated a free-kick into the box from the left. Romelu Lukaku couldn’t connect with the cross but Toby Alderweireld could, powering his header home at the back post.
Belgium had another chance five minutes after the goal when Lukaku slipped De Bruyne through on goal but his low shot was kept out by the foot of Kiraly. Belgium next came close on the 35th minute when De Bruyne continued to control the game, his 20-yard free-kick dipped over the wall and was superbly tipped onto the bar by Kiraly before being cleared away.
Belgium had another chance five minutes from half-time when Hazard sprinted past the Hungary defence, drawing defenders out before releasing Dries Mertens into space but his low drive was palmed away by Kiraly in between the Hungary sticks.
The second half only really came to life with 25 minutes to go when Pinter went past Nainggolan before his deflected shot was superbly tipped over by a backpedalling Courtois.
Belgium managed to get their deserved second goal with the game 77 minutes old when Hazard sprinted past two Hungary defenders before laying the ball across the box to Michy Batshauyi, with the Marseille striker tapping home with his first touch.
94 seconds after the second goal Hungary continued to capitulate and when Nainggolan fed Hazard just inside the Hungary half, Hazard used the rest of his energy as he jinked past three defenders and curled home from the edge of the area to give Belgium a crucial third goal.
Deep into injury time, Belgium then got a fourth of the game when they countered at speed with Nainggolan playing Yannick Carrasco through, who drilled home to seal Belgium’s place in the quarter finals.
Eden Hazard is my worthy MOTM. For me, Hazard dominated proceedings and was the main driving force of every Belgium attack. His goal and assist was also pure class as well.
Belgium’s thrashing of Hungary means that Belgium have set up a tense clash against Gareth Bale’s Wales on Friday night. These sides know each other well, having come through the same group in qualifying.
Belgium XI: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne, Mertens (Carrasco 68), Hazard (Fellaini 80), Lukaku (Batshauyi 76)
Hungary XI: Kiraly, Lang, Juhasz (Bode 77), Guzmics, Kadar, Gera (Elek 46), Lovrencsics, Kleinheiser, Nagy (Nicolic 76), Dzsudslk, Szalai.