Belgium beats Brazil 2-1 in quarterfinals

Belgium beats Brazil 2-1 in quarterfinals

Belgium beats Brazil 2-1 in quarterfinals

Brazil midfielder Fernandinho's trailing right arm inadvertently helped Belgium captain Vincent Kompany's header land in his own net in the 13th minute.

As Belgium lost cohesiveness in the second half and Brazil's changes stirred the team, substitute Renato Augusto reduced the deficit in the 76th with a header. But Roberto Firmino, Augusto and Coutinho could not convert gilt-edged opportunities to level the scores. The Belgians were 2-0 down and needed a goal in the final minute of the match to squeeze into the last eight.

Gabriel Jesus missed from six yards after Neymar's cross found him at an awkward angle, before the rampant Lukaku set up De Bruyne for Belgium's second goal.

It will probably be similar to the two teams' meeting at the 2002 World Cup which ended in a 2-0 win for Brazil after a goalless first-half.

The coach highlighted a number of reasons Belgium should fear his team - their speed on the counter-attack, ability to produce magic as well as a miserly defence that has conceded just a single goal in Russian Federation.

Thibaut Courtois, who made a fine save to tip over a late shot from Neymar, said Brazil were the superior attacking side, but the goalkeeper was happy to have reached the semifinal "the hard way".

Brazil were almost back on level terms twice soon after, but Augusto fired his shot from just outside the area wide of goal before Coutinho skied a shot from Neymar's laid-off pass well over the bar.

"[France] are an extraordinary team, but I think whenever you reach the semi-finals of the World Cup you are never going to face weak opposition", De Bruyne said.

"Everyone was saying you should come in second (in Group G). but look at the European Championship when we had the same route as England now and things went wrong straight away".

Belgium reached their first World Cup semi-final in 32 years after beating Brazil in a closely contested quarterfinal.

Lukaku's coach Roberto Martinez highlighted Neymar's ability in one-on-one situations as something his team will have to pay close attention to, but he feels Belgium also have plenty of "individual talent" to cause significant problems.

Eden Hazard played a key role as he forced Fernandinho into a tackle which cost him a yellow card, then drew a foul from Miranda which he celebrated as if he had scored a goal. It is a childhood dream to be in the World Cup.

Martínez abandoned the 3-4-2-1 he had used previously, deploying instead a 4-3-3 with Kevin De Bruyne as a false nine.

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