Belgium burst Brazil bubbles into World Cup semis

Belgium burst Brazil bubbles into World Cup semis

Belgium burst Brazil bubbles into World Cup semis

Brazil coach Tite left questions hanging over his future but refused to point the finger as the five-time champions crashed out of the World Cup after a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Belgium on Friday (July 6). Scoring against Brazil is not the best moment of my career.

The World Cup favorites tripled Belgium's shot total (27 to 9), put nine shots on target and held 60 percent of the possession throughout the game.

But they pulled themselves together and came charging back after halftime, showing Belgium that they too have a resilient side - something which many had doubted.

Argentina lost its Round of 16 clash with France at the ground, which is the home stadium for Russian Premier League side, Rubin Kazan.

That 3-2 victory over Japan was the first time a team has overcome a two-goal deficit to win outright since West Germany beat England in 1970, and the first to do it in regulation since Portugal came from three down to beat North Korea in 1966.

Belgium, which finished fourth at the 1986 tournament and has never won the European Championship, is now on a 24-match unbeaten streak.

Seemingly undeterred, Brazil immediately went on the attack, and Willian forced Courtois into a diving save with an awkward cross from the right. Romelu Lukaku picked the ball up inside his own half and surged forward, past a handful of defenders, before the ball was knocked away but fell to De Bruyne to Lukaku's right. "But when we get to the last third it's time for them to use their creativity", he added.

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. Quoted by USA Today, he said: "We know what we are capable of but Brazil are the favourites".

Against Brazil, again it was Lukaku's link-up play that proved decisive as he powered past Fernandinho and Paulinho on a rapid counter-attack before feeding De Bruyne to smash home from the edge of the area. Vincent Kompant, Fernandinho's teammate at Manchester City, rose above the scrum to get his head to Nacer Chadli's corner kick, but didn't make the cleanest of contact.

And despite Brazil's finish in the 2018 World Cup falling well-short of expectations, the manager admitted he still appreciated what was, according to many, the match of the tournament so far.

Achieving that feat for a second time will surely be on the minds of every Belgium player when they take the field at the Kazan Arena. Belgium 2, Brazil 0. Kevin De Bruyne has been pulling the strings in midfield for his side effectively but his work has gone unnoticed for he has failed to create the expected magic.

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