Belgium beats Brazil 2-1 in quarterfinals

Jul 08, 2018, 04:14
Belgium beats Brazil 2-1 in quarterfinals

Brazilian fans' hopes of celebrating a sixth World Cup title in Russian Federation have been dashed with their national team's loss to Belgium in the quarter-finals, late on Friday. An own goal and a thunderous finish from Kevin de Bruyne gave the Belgians a deserved victory over the disappointing Brazilians, despite a nervous finish after Renato Augusto had halved the deficit.

It will be the first time since 2006 that four European teams will feature in the World Cup semifinals.

Kevin De Bruyne's laser into the side netting put Belgium up 2-0 after 31 minutes, but Brazil created plenty of chances to make a comeback.

Brazil is ranked second and Belgium third.

Four years after the drama of Neymar's injury and a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil, Brazil were forced back to the drawing board as they followed neighbours Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia in exiting the tournament earlier than hoped.

"Only a few times in your lifetime [can you come to a World Cup], you might go to two or three in a lifetime if you're lucky".

Belgium, which last reached the semifinals in 1986, will next face 1998 champion France in St. Petersburg. Jesus had a stronger appeal after Kompany's challenge but again Brazil were denied.

"The games aren't for coaches, they're for players, you have to help the players be themselves on the pitch".

He may not have scored but Romelu Lukaku was excellent throughout the evening and played a key role in Belgium's second goal of the night.

They paid an immediate price when Fernandinho nodded Eden Hazard's corner into his own net unpressured after 13 minutes.

Real Madrid defender Marcelo, who was a threat to Belgium throughout thanks to his marauding runs down the left flank, summed up feelings when he said: "It was a awful night".

When all else failed, there was Thibaut Courtois who made several outstanding saves including one in the fourth minute of stoppage time to turn away a Neymar shot that was heading for the top corner.

Fortunately for the Selecao, Belgium has a poor record against South American sides at the World Cup.

Belgium are unbeaten in 23 games, while Brazil have lost only one of their 25 games under coach Tite.

"In the second half they changed tactically and Brazil were better, but even then we managed to create opportunities". Lukaku dropped into midfield and fed de Bruyne, who smashed home an unstoppable strike from the edge of the penalty area.

The Manchester City ace had time to pick his spot before unleashing a right-footed drive that screamed past Alisson and inside the 'keeper's far post.