Belgium knock out Brazil with stunning football World Cup win

Virginia Santiago
July 9, 2018

With their dream of a sixth World Cup triumph rapidly slipping away, Brazil needed to achieve a remarkable turnaround. At Russia 2018, it was just not meant to be.

France has gone on to reach the World Cup final the last two times it advanced to the semifinals. They lost to no ordinary side. "This was very hard for us to swallow‚" he said.

Roberto Martinez was left bursting with pride after praising his Belgium players for executing his tactical plan in their World Cup semi-final win over Brazil.

"We played a match in which we had lots of possession‚ a lot of opportunities‚ but in terms of effectiveness". The next day in Moscow, it will be either England or Sweden against either Russian Federation or Croatia.

The opener came after a bit of good fortune.

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Experts had called Brazil the favourites for this game.

'But they have more qualities. They started the game on a strong note, nearly taking the lead but Thiago Silva couldn't convert a good chance from a corner. "Brazil was so strong in attack".

De Bruyne advanced on the exposed Marcelo and arrowed a wonderful drive across Alisson from the edge of the penalty area after Lukaku collected the ball, turned and embarked on a 40-yard rampaging run with a flawless pass at the end to free the playmaker. But despite getting a critical goal from Renato Augusto with a quarter-hour to play, the Brazilians just didn't seem to have any. Fernandinho's trailing arm inadvertently helped Belgium captain Vincent Kompany's header land in his own net in the 13th minute.

And who would have predicted Lukaku to become the player he is today?

An independent attacking role saw the Manchester City craftsman support Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard up front, free from the deep-lying playmaker role that had shunned him off his creative abilities.

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Brazil upped their tempo after the break. Marouane Fellaini cleared a Neymar corner, Lukaku got hold of the ball, beat Fernandinho and Paulinho while turning and surging ahead from the halfway line. De Bruyne made no mistake as he lashed home a thunderous drive from distance.

Brazil went down two goals in the first half, the first goal coming as an own goal off of midfielder Fernandinho following a corner kick.

The South Americans came back hungrier and responded with a renewed sense of urgency.

Although Brazil may have been the better side in full 90 minutes, Belgium pounded on the opportunity whenever it presented itself with zero error. Neymar and Coutinho were still on the field. Martinez's team were ready for this. A frustrating night for the Brazil striker was brought to a premature end soon afterwards, as he was replaced by Douglas Costa. Once again, no penalty was awarded. Brazil in previous games had shown that perseverance is their hallmark. I feel we are as ready as we can be.

"My players executed things to perfection".

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Totally understand all the counter-arguments, including momentum and, yes, the possibility of facing Colombia . The winners of Group G will meet either Brazil or Mexico in the quarter-finals if they defeat Japan on July 2.

"They were born to play in a match like this", Martinez added.

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