Hazard-inspired Belgium put Hungary to the sword to set up quarter-final clash with Wales

Hazard-inspired Belgium put Hungary to the sword to set up quarter-final clash with Wales
(Picture: VAVEL UK/Jonathan Walsh)
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Hungary: (4-5-1) Kiraly; Lang, Juhasz (Bode, min. 78), Guzmics, Kadar; Gera (Elek, min. 45); Lovrencsics, Pinter (Nikolic, min. 74), Nagy, Dzsudzsak; Szalai.
Belgium: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; De Bruyne, Mertens (Carrasco, min. 69), Hazard (Fellaini, min. 80); R. Lukaku (Batshuayi, min. 76).
SCORE: 0-1, min. 10, Alderweireld. 0-2, min. 77, Batshuayi. 0-3, min. 79, Hazard. 0-4, min. 90+1, Carrasco.
REFEREE: Milorad Mažić (SRB). Yellow cards: Kadar (min. 34), Lang (min. 48), Elek (min. 60), Batshuayi (min. 89), Fellaini (min. 90+2), Szalai (min. 90+2).
INCIDENTS: Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between Hungary and Belgium at the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse in Toulouse, played in front of 33,000 spectators.

Well, that's all we've got time for. Hungary far from leave without credit, but they deservedly bowed out of the tournament to the far superior Belgium - who put them to the sword with a fine attacking performance. They were made to wait for a second goal to extend their lead, having made the breakthrough after just ten minutes through centre-back Toby Alderweireld. But Eden Hazard's sublime individual quality shone through beyond the hour mark, setting up substitute Michy Batshuayi on a plate for the second before curling in a stunning third, and his first of the tournament, just a minute or so later. Another substitute got on the scoresheet late on, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco rounding the scoring after Radja Nainggolan's excellent set-up to crown off a memorable night for the Belgians and put them into the last eight. That's that for today's dosage of football but we'll have live coverage of the final last-16 ties between Spain and Italy, as well as England and Iceland, tomorrow as they look to book fixtures with Germany and France respectively. Thanks for joining myself Charlie Malam, and VAVEL UK, and we hope you enjoyed our match coverage. Enjoy the rest of your night and of course, the rest of Euro 2016. Cheers!

It took them time to truly get going this evening, but once they did - what a sight Belgium were. Hazard was absolutely unplayable in periods, wriggling free of his opposing markers with Messi-like ease, and played a crucial part. It was his quality which finally put the game beyond Hungary within a two-minute spell where they added two goals to their advantage and began to really look like contenders for the title. 

Belgium are the first team to score four goals in a Euro 2016 game and that was also their third clean sheet, too. Courtois had to make a number of strong saves, but only a handful were from chances carved out by Hungary as opposed to hopeful efforts from range. This result sets up a very intriguing quarter-final with Wales in Lille next Friday. Wales might fancy their chances, having taken four points from the heavily-fancied Belgians in the qualifying stages for this tournament.

Perhaps unfair on Hungary, who improved in the first 20-25 minutes of the second-half but couldn't make it count. They gave it their all but ultimately they afforded the quality of Belgium far too much space to do the damage. Four fine goals from Marc Wilmots' men, who were ruthless after scoring their second. That's their best-ever margin of victory at the European Championships and I believe, makes them the highest scorers at the tournament. 

FT: Hungary 0-4 Belgium (Alderweireld 10', Batshuayi 77', Hazard 79', Carrasco 90+1)

90+2' Fellaini, in the final action of the game, goes into the book for a stray elbow. Not like him that, is it?

90+2' Hungary give the ball away too easily in the centre of the pitch and Nainggolan places a precise pass into Carrasco running through one-on-one and he slots beneath Kiraly for a fourth, to really rub salts into the gaping Hungarian wounds.

90+1' GOAAAALL!! It's four for Belgium, who add extra gloss to the win through substitute Carrasco.

90' Great save from Courtois, diving low to his left to beat Elek's powerful drive away from goal to prevent the Hungarians a consolation.

89' Batshuayi goes into the book for kicking the ball away in anger after a decision is given against him. Silly.

88' Have to feel for Witsel there, although the rest of the players on the pitch seem to be appreciating a moment to catch their breath. Undoubtedly up there with the best games of the tournament, this one.

87' Dzsudzsak hits a free-kick from 30-yards, but blasts it straight into the wall and straight into Witsel, who spends a few minutes writhing around in the pain. The ball appears to have struck him straight in the, erm, private parts. Ouch.

86' It's a shame that it's ending this way for Hungary but the Group F winners have simply been outclassed tonight. By far the best team they've met at the competition, they haven't been able to live with their opponent's talents - though they've far from sat back and let it happen.

85' Batshuayi tries a shot from distance and though it bounces awkwardly, Kiraly gathers. 

84' Belgium appear to have finally hit full stride at Euro 2016 and Eden Hazard has been integral to everything. Wales, despite boasting Gareth Bale, must be watching on pretty worried after this performance. 

82' Lovrencsics' shot deflects into the side netting from Alderweireld's deflection down the inside channel and the corner causes a few issues, Szalai firing over the bar on the swivel as Courtois tips over.

81' And with that, Hazard leaves the pitch to a standing ovation - replaced by Fellaini. Between Belgium's second and third goals, Juhasz was replaced by Bode.

80' Surely the Man of the Match, Hazard does as he has all night and skips past a couple of challenges before curling an excellent effort beyond Kiraly's fingertips and into the bottom corner. A goal befitting of his tremendous performance.

79' GOOOOOOAL!! And it's 3-0. Hazard caps off his incredible display with a well-earned goal, his first at a major tournament. Game over.

78' More absolute excellence from Hazard. He moves into space down the left side before rolling a priceless cross to Batshuayi, who only has to get a touch on it to put it into the back of the net with his first touch. What an introduction.

77' GOAAAAAL! Belgium lead 2-0 and it's Batshuayi with his first touch off the bench!

76' Good defending from Hungary to thwart Carrasco. Hazard's lofted ball picks out the winger excellently, but his touch isn't sharp enough to allow him to get a shot away before their opponents get bodies in front of the ball.

75' Another substitution, this time for Belgium as Lukaku continues his run of being brought off in every game at this tournament. In his place, the ever-willing Batshuayi comes on to a huge roar from the Belgian supporters.

74' This game far from decided as Lovrencsics escapes his marker down the left before trying to stab an outside-of-the-boot cross towards the back post. Hungary then bring on Nikolic for Pinter as they look to find a way back into the game.

71' Hazard dictating and controlling in equal measure in the final third. He pings a pass into Carrasco, who tries to control it on the turn in the box but Guzmics is across to dispossess the substitute.

69' Change from Belgium, Carrasco having words in his ear on the sideline before coming on for Mertens down the right.

68' HUNGARY CLOSE AGAIN! The free-kick comes all the way through to Juhasz at the far post and he chests the ball down before volleying a sweetly-struck shot towards the far post, but it whistles ever so narrowly wide.

67' Cynical challenge from Vermaelen on Pinter and he goes into the book, meaning he'll miss the quarter finals should Belgium manage to get through. That leaves Wilmots with some problems.

66' GREAT SAVE BY COURTOIS! Pinter drags the ball clear of Witsel before his shot takes a heavy deflection off of Nainggolan and threatens to loop over the Belgium goalkeeper, but he manages to just tip it over the bar.

64' Belgium yet to look likely of building on their lead since Kiraly denied Lang 50 seconds or so into this second-half. They've still moved forward dangerously, but haven't created chances as freely as they did in the first 45.

62' Hazard fractionally called offside after running on to De Bruyne's inch-perfect through ball into his path. Again, a hairline decision which could have gone either way, and Hazard is evidently frustrated.

61' Nainggolan tries to place a shot into the top corner after Hazard evades a couple of challenges and lays off Witsel, who in turn sets up his fellow midfielder. Not of the standard of his strike the other night which allowed Belgium to beat Sweden 1-0 in their final group game.

60' Elek the next into the book, upending Hazard and facing the consequences.

59' Lang can count himself lucky there, diving in late on De Bruyne and catching him with his studs. Already on a yellow card, that too seems a yellow card offence, so he's probably not got many of those left before Milorad Mazic goes back into his pocket.

58' CHANCE! Belgium once again keep the pressure on after a corner and Hazard turns to Vertonghen down the left. Lukaku meets his cross, attempting to flick the ball with his heel but he doesn't catch it cleanly and Mertens can only bundle over the crossbar in the aftermath.

56' Hungary growing in confidence, Szalai's miscontrol the only thing ending a promising counter after Nainggolan had conceded in possession. They're starting to ask some real questions of the Belgians, but must take advantage whilst they're on top.

54' CLOSE! Dzsudzsak's terrific delivery picks out Szalai, whose jumping header takes a slight deflection off of Vermaelen on its way behind. Dzsudzsak takes the corner but once again it leads to nothing, Pinter running out of play across the opposite side of the pitch.

53' Lovrencsics drives with intent down the outside of Meunier at the byline and the defender is forced to clear for a corner, which then comes to nothing. More of that from Hungary and they've got a great chance to make a game of this. 

52' Lukaku and De Bruyne link up once again, the latter opting to shoot once breaking into the box, but he pulls it wide of the far post. 

51' Great move by Hungary in and around the Belgium box, a succession of neat pass-and-move footballing seeing Elek put Szalai into the box but from an awkward angle he can only fire wide.

50' Hazard here, Hazard there, Hazard everywhere. The space he's still being afforded is staggering and it can't be long before he makes Hungary pay. Drifting in behind the areas which Hungary's midfield are allowing him to roam freely within, he's causing all kinds of problems. 

49' De Bruyne takes the free-kick and whips an inviting ball across the six-yard box, but one of Witsel or Alderweireld are flagged for offside in the process. 

48' Another yellow card, Lang catching Hazard with a flailing arm down the left-hand side. 

47' EXCELLENT REFLEXES! Hazard toys with Lang before cutting inside and lashing a stinging shot towards the top corner, but Kiraly responds well to palm wide.

46' We're back from the break and Hungary have made their first substitution, Gera coming off for Elek.

Testament to Belgium's dominance, no team has had more shots than their 16 in that first 45 minutes in one half of football at Euro 2016 this summer. One-way traffic.

Darkness is descending on the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse and seemingly Hungary's Euro 2016 campaign with it. For all their heart and effort, they've not had the quality to trouble the superior Belgians and it's remarkable the space and time they've afforded their talented opponents hasn't been exploited more.

Excellently open and entertaining, Belgium deservedly lead by just a single goal at the break. It could easily be a greater gap, given some of the clear cut opportunities they've had. Marc Wilmots' side have controlled proceedings for so much of that first-half, it's a huge surprise the scoreline is so low. Hungary aren't here to make up the numbers, and they've had spells too - but their chances haven't been nearly as good as their opponent's. Rather, they've resorted to potshots from distance -  Gergo Lovrencsics' shot which grazed the woodwork the closest they have come to beating Thibaut Courtois between the sticks.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

HT: Hungary 0-1 Belgium (Alderweireld, 10')

44' Referee Milorad Mazic, must to the disgust of the Belgian supporters, refuses to award a free-kick after Hazard appears to be brought down. Hungary really struggling to halt the Chelsea winger once he's in possession.

42' GOOD SAVE! Kiraly to the rescue once again for Hungary as Hazard finds Mertens with time on his hands inside the area, but the attacking midfielder fires straight at the goalkeeper from a good position. Belgium sustain the pressure, keeping the ball around the final third before Lang nips in to prevent Mertens getting a clear shot away from 10-yards. 

41' Into the final few minutes of the first-half with Hungary enjoying a good spell of momentum. Dzsudzsak collects a loose ball before firing a left-footed shot just a yard wide of the near post. Courtois will breathe a sigh of relief after that one, because he appeared to be beaten.

40' CLOSE! Lovrencsics takes advantage of a pocket of space to fire a rasping drive from 25-yards, but it zips only a yard or so over Courtois' bar. The camera angle made it look as if it was bound for the top corner.

39' Lukaku has time and space as he moves forward on the ball, but he underhits a pass towards De Bruyne which allows Guzmics to get across and sneak the ball away inside his own area.

37' Worryingly, Kiraly is grimacing a little after that save but he appears to be okay now as Nainggolan drags a low shot wide of the mark from distance.

36' WOODWORK! De Bruyne stands over the free-kick, around 25-yards from goal, and curls a fine effort up and over the wall. Much to his despair, Kiraly somehow manages to get a vital hand to it, tipping the shot onto the crossbar. Magnificent reflexes for a 40-year-old.

35' Wouldn't like to be a Hungarian defender tasked with picking up Hazard. He's drifting about in the spaces between midfield and defence and no-one can get near him. He drives forward before spotting Mertens, who is fouled by Kadar. The defender goes into the book and will miss Hungary's next game, should they have one, as a result.

34' Plenty of positives for Belgium, although they've yet to build on their lead. In the final third, they have real fluidity and cohesion about them - particularly on the counter-attack. They must make their dominance count though, because Hungary have goal threat themselves.

33' Nainggolan catches Gera in possession and sets his teammates away, but after a one-two with Lukaku  the striker flashes a shot well wide while off balance probably unaware he had more time to make a decision.

31' Lovrencsics tries his luck with a long-range effort after cutting in from the left, but it's a wild attempt that Courtois only has to watch fly well over his crossbar.

30' Hazard wins back possession inside his own half, roaming forward before finding Lukaku. He waits for the run of De Bruyne, chipping a ball into the midfielder in the box, but the header that follows doesn't pose much threat to Kiraly.

28' Close but not quite close enough. Hazard finds Lukaku before running in beyond the defence, instantly demanding a return ball. The striker doesn't follow suit and instead when he finally does pick out Hazard again, the Belgian captain is caught offside. Had he been quicker, the No.10's clear through on the Hungary goal.

26' Belgium still in strong control, Hazard and De Bruyne looking dangerous whenever they're on the ball. Hungary have looked better themselves in the last few minutes, but bar a few relatively harmless shots from range, haven't troubled Courtois all too much.

25' Good chance wasted by Mertens, who chooses the wrong pass once in a good position at the byline. Rather than pick out an open teammate inside the box, he passes straight into the arms of Kiraly on his line. 

23' Dzsudzsak picks up possession on the edge of the Belgium box before teasing a low shot towards Courtois' near post, but once again the towering shotstopper is equal to the attempt with an assured save.

22' Kadar whips an encouraging cross into the six-yard box but it's a relatively simple catch for Courtois, whose only real opposition is Gera who is a few yards away. The goalkeeper wastes no time in setting his team away on the break, but it only leads to Hazard seeing his shot from the edge of the area well blocked.

21' Ambitious from Alderweireld. Belgium retain possession after that aforementioned corner and find Lukaku with his back to goal. He uses his strength to hold the ball up and spot Alderweireld 30 yards out, but from the lay-off the centre-back's shot sails well, well over. Speculative to say the least.

20' When he's on it, he's on it. Hazard glides past a few defenders with consummate ease and forces a corner from his cross on the right. De Bruyne takes the resulting set-piece, but his delivery isn't quite as troubling as his free-kick. 

18' Now if only we'd seen more contests like this in Euro 2016. Too many matches so far, for all the positives of an improved standard of defending, have been drab and forgettable. There's only been a few exceptions to that and there's been many highlights, off the pitch as much as on it in the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland fans, but this has been a much better game so far. Belgium well in control of their own destiny as it stands.

16' Courtois left a bit red-faced as he slips and completely misses a defender's backpass, allowing it to roll out for a corner. Luckily for him, he's a few yards wide of his goal so it doesn't do any further damage. He's also fortunate that Mertens clears the corner kick delivery well.

15' Much closer to the pre-tournament expectations of Belgium here. Two passes carve Hungary apart, as they gift possession to Lukaku with a sloppy pass and he picks out De Bruyne with an excellently-weighted sweeping ball. The playmaker can't beat Kiraly with his low shot, but everything's running through him so far. 

13' Before that header, Belgium's last five European Championship goals had all been scored in the second half. A welcome change, then. 

12' That was good timing, wasn't it? Just as I was saying that Belgium would need to be lethal in front of goal, they're 1-0 up. You sense they could put this to bed early on if they keep attacking with such pace and purpose.

10' De Bruyne wins a free-kick in a promising area after being brought down by Lang and the No.7 rises to his feet to deliver a lovely ball right on to the head of Alderweireld, who beats Kiraly with a well-timed finish. That's the first time Hungary have trailed in a game at Euro 2016. Talk about a test of character.

10' GOAAAAL! Alderweireld opens the scoring and Belgium are 1-0 up.

9' Belgium playing with real ambition and intent about them going forward thus far. Whether they can match their desire with a killer instinct is likely to decide which way this game goes, with the Belgians having dominated throughout. 

7' Plenty of early action so far here, it's hard to keep up. De Bruyne has another attempt from the edge of the box after more promising build-up from his teammates, but Kiraly gets down low to save well. 

6' Two good quickfire opportunities for Lukaku! On the counter, the striker is just inches away from meeting Hazard's whipped cross. After a throw in, the ball is worked to Lukaku in at the near post by De Bruyne, but Kiraly smothers the striker's effort wide for a corner.

5' Lovrencsics' cross from the right causes Vermaelen no problems, although the midfielder quickly recollects the ball before cutting inside a firing a tame shot straight at Courtois. 

4' First shot of the evening sees De Bruyne's drive from the edge of the area rise well over the crossbar after a good Belgium exchange down the right side. 

3' Hungary getting bodies back in defence when Belgium get forward. Hazard is surrounded by three or four red shirts as he looks to thread a through ball to Lukaku, but under pressure he's forced to rush into it and it goes out for a goal kick.

1' Belgium get us started in a sunny Toulouse, De Bruyne making use of the new one-man kick-off rule. News just trickling in now that Hungary's Laszlo Kleinheisler has dropped out of the starting eleven after picking up an injury in the warm-up, Adam Pinter comes in to replace him as the No.10 Big blow for the Hungarians.

National anthems? Check. Awkwardly close-up shots of the two managers during said national anthems? Check. Gabor Kiraly's signature grey jogging bottoms? Check. We're just about ready to get underway. Minute-by-minute match commentary to follow. 

Here we go. Belgium, in their blue away kit, and Hungary in their red home kit, make their way down the tunnel and out on to the pitch. But which set of players will be the ones celebrating in 90 minutes' time? There's only one way to find out...

On the other hand, Bernd Storck is rightly delighted with the performances of his Hungary side - who have been likened to the famous Magical Magyars of the 1950s, losing just once between 1950 and 1956 - that the World Cup final to West Germany in 1954. The manager believes his team have improved with each game, and he'll be hoping that pattern continues tonight - Belgium their toughest opponents so far. Here's what else Storck had to say, including saying that they fully deserved their berth in the last 16 because of their performances. 

Marc Wilmots has said similar and he's expecting big things from his side tonight. He's well and truly laid down the gauntlet to his players, insisting that he wants to see "better performances from everyone individually" as well as "better" ball distribution and a "focus on keeping possession" in an attempt to tire out Hungary. It all sounds well and good, but can they carry out their game plan tonight? We'll soon see with less than 10 minutes until kick-off. Until then, see more of what Wilmots had to say about his team's displays, here.

Romelu Lukaku, who looks to build on his two-goal haul against Ireland tonight, insists that Belgium have to reach the semi-finals as an absolute minimum. Anything other would be "a major disappointment", he says. You can read more of the Evertostriker's pre-match opinions here. 

Thomas Vermaelen, whose inclusion has just been criticised by Rio Ferdinand, the former Manchester United defender questioning whether he should be playing if he doesn't feature regularly at club level for Barcelona, actually made a tournament-high 13 interceptions in the group stages. James Chester of Wales was the only other player to match that. Interestingly, Vermaelen's only international goal - from 51 appearances before tonight - came against tonight's opponents, Hungary, back in November 2009 in the previous meeting between the two. He's 12/1 with Sky Bet to be an anytime scorer this evening - the joint-highest odds of anyone starting - if you fancy a bet. Funnier things have happened in football, after all.

The BBC pundits currently discussing Belgium's "unbelievable opportunity" in the words of Alan Shearer for an unprecedented success this summer. Though they've been criticised for being less than the sum of their parts for much of the tournament, their side of the bracket reads promisingly. They stand to face Wales should they win here tonight, while the other quarter-final would be between Poland and Portugal - both of whom they would fancy themselves against in a semi-final. Time to make a statement tonight?

Half-an-hour until kick-off in Toulouse and both teams are still warming on the pitch underneath the evening sunshine. This being Hungary's first knockout fixture in 50 years, it's easily their biggest game in a generation - which comes with plenty of pressure even if they are the underdogs. Meanwhile Belgium have generational issues of their own. So much is expected of their current squad that they face squandering a massive chance for a maiden major finals triumph this summer. 

So this is the sixth of eight last-16 ties and France and Germany will both be involved in the quarter-finals after their respective victories today. After a first-minute penalty gave Republic of Ireland a shock lead, which they maintained into half-time, Antoine Griezmann's three-minute brace reversed the advantage into the hosts' favour and Shane Duffy's red card for bringing the same striker down ended Ireland's hopes of a comeback just a minute later than that. Just a few hours later, Germany comfortably swept Slovakia aside in a 3-0 victory that saw Jerome BoatengMario Gomez and Julian Draxler get themselves on the scoresheet to set up a mouthwatering quarter-final against the winner of Italy - Spain, which is played tomorrow.

Did you know? At 40 years old, Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly - famous for wearing jogging bottoms - is the oldest player ever to appear at a European Championship. 19 years ago, now Belgium manager Marc Wilmots scored against him in the Bundesliga when his Schalke side met Kiraly's Hertha Berlin. See that goal for yourself here.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

All three of the players recalled for Hungary missed out on their dramatic 3-3 draw with Portugal, rested because they were booked. Should they pick up a yellow card this evening, they will be unavailable for their nation's next game - should the Hungarians reach the next round. Nemeth, Balazs Dzsudzsak and Zoltan Gera are also at risk of suspension. Belgium's Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier and Axel Witsel all start tonight with one yellow.

By comparison, just one change for Belgium, with Dries Mertens replacing Yannick Ferreira Carrasco as one of the attacking midfielders supporting lone striker Romelu Lukaku. Radja Nainggolan keeps his place over the injured Mousa Dembele in the centre of midfield. 

Three changes for HungaryMihaly Korhut, Adam Pinter and Akos Elek making way for Tamas KadarLaszlo Kleinheisler and Adam Nagy in defence and midfield. Krisztian Nemeth remains on the bench after being dropped in the last game.

Belgium XI: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard; R. Lukaku.

Hungary XI: Kiraly; Lang, Juhasz, Guzmics, Kadar; Gera; Lovrencsics, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Dzsudzsak; Szalai.

Just over an hour until kick-off and the team news is in... 

So, what do we now about the quarter-finals already? Saturday's results have already pitted Portugal against Poland with the winner of tonight's game knowing they will face Wales. 116 minutes passed before the first shot on target as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal needed extra-time to beat CroatiaQuaresma firing the match-winner just seconds after that first shot on target. Earlier in the day Poland required a penalty shoot-out, winning 5-4 on spot-kicks, to beat Switzerland after Xherdan Shaqiri's sensational overhead kick pulled the Swiss level from Jakub Blaszczykowski's first-half opener to force extra-time, which could not split the two sides. Wales, however, booked their spot in 90 minutes as Gareth McAuley of Northern Ireland turned into his own net from Gareth Bale's cross in the only goal of the game on 75 minutes. Elsewhere on Saturday, hosts France take on Republic of Ireland and Germany face Slovakia. 

Another player potentially crucial to proceedings could be Romelu Lukaku, who has scored two goals at Euro 2016 so far. But the Everton striker, who scored 25 goals across 46 appearances at club level last season, believes his country's squad still needs to make improvements if they are to progress to the later stages of the tournament. He said: "We still have to make steps forward as a team, but we are on the right track. Every game is like a final from here on in, it's all over if we lose a game. I agree with those who say anything less than making the semi-finals would be a major disappointment." He added: "This team has been playing together for more than six years now. We have always understood each other, but now we know we can change the game at any moment. As long as everyone sticks to their defensive task, we know we can create a chance or score a goal out of nothing. That’s the great thing about this team." 

Speaking to the press earlier this week, Dzsudzsak raved about the pride at which he feels to have led Hungary to the Round of 16 and also enthused about their supporters back home. He declared: "It’s really an incredible feeling that I could achieve this during my football career - being the captain, being able to lead the group and after 50 years Hungary being here, among the best 16 in Europe. At the moment everything seems like a dream and we’re always asked after the matches what we feel. And I think our answers are too simple because we’re still affected by what’s going on in Budapest and in Hungary, that 15 million people went out of their minds, that everyone wants to go out onto the streets to party and celebrate and that everybody wants to watch the national team’s matches. The fans here are also fantastic, coming out and setting an example, 15-20,000 of them marching up and down in the streets of Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux, and with no problems, no criminal behaviour among them. Everyone has come here to support the Hungarian team, which gives you a boost and makes you hugely proud." 

For Hungary, there's no debating who is their key man. Captain and winger Balazs Dzsudzsak, who scored two fine goals in their most recent match against Portugal, is the hero of his homeland - with a total of 20 goals in 81 international appearances - having been their most talented player of the last decade. The 29-year-old has lived up to his billing so far, carrying his nation's hopes on his shoulders and generally impressing with the calibre of his performances.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

The likes of Eden Hazard, who has assisted Belgium’s last two goals, will be crucial this evening. He’s goalless in 637 minutes at major tournaments for his country but could be set to end that streak after an encouraging run of performances in the group stages, arguably the Red Devils' best player in their first game defeat. 

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

Touted as one of the pre-tournament favourites for the title at Euro 2016, despite having never won a major tournament, Belgium are looking to cash in the chips on their 'golden generation' of players. With a squad including some of Europe's most talented players, albeit a weakened defence, it's still a surprise that they are second in the FIFA World Rankings. But they have backed up such a reputation in glimpses so far this summer, particularly in the second-half of their 3-0 win over Ireland. However, plenty of questions remain over whether they can do it against the top teams - and they'll be looking to prove a point by reaching the last eight in style.

Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has even gone as far to suggest he would rather play reigning European champions Spain than Hungary, telling the press earlier in the week: "I would rather play against England and Spain than versus Hungary. We would have nothing to lose against those teams. The press acts like the game against Hungary will be a walkover. Did people not see them play against Portugal? There are no more small teams in international football. Every game will be tight right until the final whistle. Don't let reputations fool you. The only way to judge a team is to look at their collective."

Hungary are undoubtedly the surprise team of the tournament so far, with very few having even suggested they would finish third in their group. Nevertheless, don't let that distract you from their quality. They are fully worthy of their place in this round - their organised, close-knit squad of lesser-known talents working well as a collective and keeping them unbeaten after three games. That has meant their compatriots back home, in particular in their capital of Budapest, have all been buzzing with excitement and anticipation - their side of the bracket looking distinctly less dangerous than the opposite, as you can see for yourself below. Not a single team on the left side has ever won the tournament.

(Picture: UEFA.com)
(Picture: UEFA.com)

Belgium and Hungary haven't met in a competitive fixture since 1982, when they drew 1-1, although they have met five times since in international friendlies. The last of those came in 2009 when goals from Marouane Fellaini, Thomas Vermaelen and Kevin Mirallas - the first two of which are here at Euro 2016 - gave Belgium a 3-0 win in Ghent. That was the first fixture between the two in 15 years. The highlights of that game are here: 

Indeed, Belgium have scored in all of their last 10 games against Hungary, scoring at least twice in the last five matches - though it's unlikely there'll be a glut of goals tonight. 

Overall, these two nations have met 12 times, with Belgium boasting eight wins, and Hungary winning just twice. The Red Devils have won all of the last four clashes between the two, including six of the last eight, since Hungary's 3-1 friendly win in November 1958, their last against their opponents. 

Hungary, meanwhile, are at their first Euros since 1972 and their first major tournament since 1986. They've made it out of the group stages since the 1966 World Cup, when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Consequently, Hungary's last Euros in 1972 ended with a 2-1 defeat to the Belgians in the third-placed play-off - with West Germany beating the Soviet Union in the final. That year, however, only four countries made the finals of the tournament.

Did you know? Belgium are looking for their first knockout stage victory at the European Championships since 1980, although this is their first tournament since they co-hosted the Euros in 2000. The Red Devils' best finish in this competition so far also came in 1980, when they finished as runners-up after losing out to West Germany in the final in Rome.

In other interesting news, tonight's referee is Serbian Milorad Mazic, who has already officiated Spain's 3-0 win over Turkey and the 1-1 draw between Ireland and Sweden. The 43-year-old became a FIFA referee in 2009 and has taken charge of many Champions League and Europa League matches throughout his career. Mazic, a regular fixture in the Serbian SuperLiga, was also in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, refereeing Germany-Portugal and Argentina-Iran

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

So, "What's tonight's venue?" I hear you ask. Well ask no longer. The 33,000-seater Stadium Municipal de Toulouse - which has already hosted three Euro 2016 games - will host this evening's game. Originally built for the 1938 FIFA World Cup, it has had extensive renovations in both 1949 and 1997 - having also hosted games in the 1998 World Cup. The ground is also home of Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse Football Club and was used for Spain's 1-0 win over Czech RepublicItaly's 1-0 win over Sweden and Wales' 3-0 defeat of Russia.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

That brings us to tonight, with both side's looking to seal their progression to the final eight. Belgium are the favourites, probably given the more notable talent amongst their ranks, but Hungary will be far from a roll-over for Wilmots and co. Only Wales, who topped Group B ahead of England, scored as many goals as their six across three games - with half of the Hungarians' goals coming from outside of the box. Bernd Storck's well-drilled charges will take inspiration from Italy's opening win against the Belgians, with Hungary likely to set up defensively and ask their opponents to break them down before hitting them on the counter-attack. One style versus another, it seems.

It was a little simpler in Belgium's group, though there was late drama there too. They opened their campaign on a more negative note, losing comprehensively to a resolute Italy side, who earned a 2-0 win thanks to strikes from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle. But Marc Wilmots' side, tipped to this summer be one of the best teams in France, bounced back perfectly with a 3-0 thrashing of Republic of Ireland - a Romelu Lukaku brace, sandwiched either side of Axel Witsel's header - enough to dramatically improve their chances of progression. They capitalised on that momentum with a back-to-back victory for the first time in their history at the Euros, sending Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden home without a win as Radja Nainggolan's 84th-minute winner propelled them into second behind the Italians on head-to-head record. Having already sealed their place in the last 16, Italy fell to Ireland in their final group game - giving the Irish the chance to put themselves in the next round as another of the best-placed third teams from the six groups.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

So, how did the two teams fare in the group stages? Obviously, well enough to be into the first knockout round - but surprisingly, Hungary topped a group including Portugal, Austria and Iceland as they remained unbeaten. Beating many people's dark horses, Austria in their first game thanks to second-half goals from Adam Szalai and Zoltan Stieber certainly helped. They only avoided a defeat to Iceland in their second Group F game, Birkir Mar Saevarsson's 88th-minute own goal handing the Hungarians a welcome point after Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty had earlier opened the deadlock. It was their third and final group game, against the much-fancied Portugal boasting Cristiano Ronaldo, which saw the group explode into real life. Hungary took the lead three times, first through Zoltan Gera and twice more through winger Balazs Dzsudzsak, but Ronaldo scored a brace himself - in addition to Nani's first-half equaliser - to secure a 3-3 draw in the tournament's highest-scoring game so far. Elsewhere, Iceland's last-gasp win over Austria, catapulting them into second and consequently eliminating their opponents, meant Hungary finished on top with five points, but a better goal difference than Iceland. Portugal qualified for the next round as one of the best-placed third-place teams, drawing all three of their games.

(Picture: Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

Yes, we're in the business end of the tournament now and after this round, we'll have just eight teams remaining. Could underdogs Hungary sneak a surprise place in the quarter-finals in their first Euros since 1972? Or will Belgium take one step closer to justifying the incredible hype around their obviously talented 'golden generation'?

Good evening and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute coverage of the 2016 UEFA European Championships. We're in the last 16 stage of the tournament now and tonight sees Group F winners Hungary take on the runners-up of Group E, Belgium, at the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse in Toulouse. Kick-off tonight is at 20:00BST (8pm) but stay with us until then because we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up to keep you entertained.