Belgium stun Brazil to reach World Cup semi-finals

Belgium stun Brazil to reach World Cup semi-finals
Players of Belgium celebrate the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter final soccer match between Brazil and Belgium in Kazan, Russia, 06 July 2018.

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 06, 2018. 22:03

Belgium booked a spot in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals at Kazan Arena in Russia on Friday night.

Resulting from the victory, Roberto Martinez's troops will now face 1998 champions France in the semi-finals as they defeated Uruguay earlier in the day

Brazil started on top gear as defender Thiago Silva saw his effort hit the woodwork and bounced back into action in the seventh minute.

However, it was Belgium who drew blood first in the 13th minute when Brazil failed to deal with a corner as Vincent Kompany’s header hit Fernandinho and ricocheted into the net, making it 1-0 to the Europeans.

The South Americans went in search of an equaliser and Marcelo attempted a shot, but Courtois was equal to the task in the 20th minute.

Kevin de Bruyne made it 2-0 just after the half hour mark when Romelu Lukaku laid the ball into the path of Kevin de Bruyne who produced a beautiful 20-yard shot into the corner of the net.

Following the Belgian’s second goal, Philippe Coutinho also attempted a curling shot from the d-line, but Courtois denied him with a fine save in the 40th minute.

It was 2-0 to Belgium at half time.

The Brazilians continued to pile on the pressure ten minutes into the second half and protested for a penalty, but the VAR officials did not give it when Kompany made a tackle in the box.

In the 70th minute coach Tite’s men were slowly running out of time as Douglas Costa tested Courtois from range, but again the Belgium net minder was at his best with a good save.

Brazil’s efforts were rewarded when substitute Renato Augusto pulled one back in the 76th minute with a glancing header following a wonderful cross from Coutinho on the left wing, 2-1.

Augusto nearly scored again in the 80th minute when he was unmarked in the box, but saw his effort going inches wide of the target from 16-yards out.

The Belgian keeper conceded a corner-kick with a spectacular save after denying Neymar in the injury time as the match ended 2-1 in favour of the Europeans.

Brazil: (0) 1 (Renato 76’)
Belgium: (2) 2 (Fernandinho 13’ og, De Bruyne 31’)

Brazil: Alisson, Fagner, Silva, Marcelo, Miranda, Paulinho (Renato 72’), Fernandinho, Coutinho, Willian (Firmino 46’), Neymar, Jesus (Costa 58’)

Belgium: Courtois, Vertonghen, Meunier, Alderweireld, Kompany, Chadli (Vermaelen 82’), Witsel, Hazard, De Bruyne, Fellaini, Lukaku (Tielemans 87’)

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