Belgium boss Marc Wilmots welcomed Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard to the Euro 2016 party as a stunning individual performance during their thrashing of Hungary on Toulouse stoked his side’s passage to the quarter-finals.
An early header from Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld failed to open the floodgates and it took until late in the second period for substitute Michu Batshuayi to extend the lead, while Hazard’s stunning solo goal and winger Yannick Carrasco added further gloss.
Belgium, often regarded as wasters of a golden generation, recorded their biggest win at a major tournament and will now face Wales in Lille on Friday for a place in the semi-finals.
“A captain can’t always do his talking with his mouth, sometimes you have to do your talking with your feet and that’s what he did today,” said Wilmots of his skipper Hazard.
“I told Eden that I wanted to score a goal by cutting inside. He wasn’t close enough to the goal and he needs to have fun when he’s out on the pitch.”
Spurs defender Alderweireld headed an eighth-minute Kevin de Bruyne free-kick beyond former Crystal Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, while a second goal eventually came inside the final quarter of an hour as Batshuayi tapped home Hazard’s cross.
Hazard struck moments later as he glided past two Hungary defenders before slotting past Kiraly. Atletico Madrid winger Carrasco administered the knockout blow as he slammed another effort past Kiraly.