Belgium advances to World Cup semifinal, sending Brazil home

07 July, 2018, 07:43 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Romelo Lukaku leads Belgium with four goals so far in the tournament

A fearless Belgium showcased their attacking brilliance then survived a spirited Brazilian fightback to claim a 2-1 win over the tournament favourites at Kazan Arena and reach the last four for the first time in 32 years.

Perhaps it was the belief instilled in his players by Spanish manager Roberto Martinez and his assistant coach Thierry Henry, a former World Cup victor with France.

And after taking a 2-0 first half lead through a Fernandinho own goal and a pinpoint strike by Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium held on for an eventual 2-1 win in Kazan.

Substitute Renato Augusto did pull one back for Brazil with 15 minutes to play, but the Samba stars failed to capitalise on opportunities from that point onwards and instead went crashing out.

His club teammate would double the Red Devils' lead in the 31st minute with an exquisite shot from outside of the box following a quick counter inclusive of a wonderful run and an incisive pass from Romelu Lukaku.

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Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium celebrates after the Fifa World Cup 2018 quarter final soccer match between Brazil and Belgium in Kazan on Friday.

The South American five-time champions came to Russian Federation seeking to erase the pain of a 7-1 defeat against Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup on home soil.

But as Belgian legs exhausted, Brazil spurned several great chances to push the match into extra-time, Augusto drilling inches wide and Coutinho skewing his effort off target from Neymar's pass.

As mentioned before, 2006 by France, 2010 by the Netherlands and in 2014, the infamous 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals!

"Now we need more energy for the next game, " Martinez said, "so let's make sure that we're all together and we're all driving each other to be as good as we can.in the semifinal".

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Given our World Cup tradition, Brazil are naturally the favourites to beat Belgium.

Neymar, who was criticized ahead of the game for having spent almost 14 minutes on the floor cumulatively in Brazil's first four games, flung himself down but was told to get back up.

Belgium then scored from their first corner of the game in the 13th minute.

"I think Neymar in the future will be the best in the world and I'm happy to be playing against him for the second time".

With eight shutouts in the last nine games, including three in the four games in Russia, Brazil had the tightest defense of the remaining teams at the World Cup. Another possible spot kick was waved away despite replays that showed Neymar getting his eye raked while chasing a header in stoppage time.

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