With Belgium having overcome a difficult test from Russia on Sunday to make it two wins out of two and qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup, Eden Hazard reflected on the game and his own contribution.
Hazard was joined by Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois in becoming the first players to guarantee Chelsea representation in the last 16 of the tournament when a late goal gave Belgium a 1-0 victory.
It had been an even and at times sterile encounter in the Maracana until Hazard found his best form in the last 10 minutes to frequently trouble the Russian defence, go close with one shot and then eventually set up the 88th-minute winner for Divock Origi who had come on for Lukaku.
‘It was a difficult match but we are very happy with the result,’ said the Chelsea Player of the Year.
‘The victory means we have already qualified and still have one match to go in the group and we will now aim for three wins in this group campaign.
‘We didn’t play a very good match but the last 10 minutes were better and maybe the Russian defence got tired and we got more space for the substitutes, who were fresh, to exploit.’
Hazard, who started the match, had the energy to run at the Russians again and again in the closing stages.
‘I felt fit,’ he said. ‘I’m in good shape and as I often make the difference towards the end of the match it shows I am still fresh.’