Belgium 1-0 Portugal: Pepe channelled the dark arts on Thorgan Hazard in Euro 2020 exit

  • Kobe Tong
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Pepe went full Pepe during Portugal’s round of 16 clash with Belgium.

Belgium 1-0 Portugal

The eyes of the world turned to Seville on Sunday night as the standout fixture of Euro 2020‘s second round unfolded between the European champions and FIFA’s number-one ranked nation.

However, for the most part, the two European juggernauts were busy exchanging chess moves with clearcut chances proving few and far between.

As such, it took a truly special moment from Thorgan Hazard to break the deadlock before half-time with his whirling strike from the left-hand side evading the grasp of Rui Patricio.

Belgium vs Portugal Match Reaction (Football Terrace)

Tense end to the game

It meant that Portugal needed to score at least one goal during the second 45 minutes to keep hold of their European crown, but breaking down Belgium’s veteran defence proved incredibly tough.

As a result, it didn’t take a television pundit to point out the fact that Portugal were getting frustrated during the closing moments at the Stadium La Cartuja – and that’s where Pepe comes in.

Ever one of football’s most controversial figures, the Porto centre-back was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after wiping out Hazard once the referee had already blown his whistle.

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Pepe channels football’s dark arts

The match official had called for a halt once Romelu Lukaku went down upon receiving a boot to the head, prompting Pepe to go barrelling into Belgium’s goalscorer as he tried to carry on.

It goes without saying that Pepe’s decision went down like a sack of the proverbial with Belgium’s players, prompting a fracas between the two teams that set a tense tempo for the closing minutes.

But no matter how tense and fraught the Euro 2020 clash became, you could be sure to trace it all back to Pepe leaving it late on Hazard, so be sure to check out the offending footage below:

https://twitter.com/BaraFotboll/status/1409251038499069958

Pepe gonna Pepe, huh?

Belgium have the last laugh

Love him or hate him, you just know that Portugal’s veteran defender will try every trick in the book to give his side the best possible chance of psyching out their opponents and winning the game.

Hazard will know that fact all-too well after being sent to the Seville turf on Sunday, but the Dortmund trickster ultimately had the last laugh by booking himself a place in the quarter-finals.

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Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

Marry that to a Man of the Match award as well as the winning goal on the night and it’s fair to say that although Pepe left one in late, it’s the Portugal man who’s the one going home early…

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