SPORTS


Hazard-inspired Belgium blow away Hungary

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Baku, June 27, AZERTAC

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-match blow when László Kleinheisler was injured in the warm-up and Ádám Pintér was pressed into action. As if suitably 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 half-time to deny Hazard, and although Hungary then had a promising spell, Belgium were soon back in control. Indeed, 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 the captain had given full rein to his talents. Carrasco, also off the bench, then claimed the fourth at the death.

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