Brazil 1 – 2 Belgium – Belgium produced a brilliant performance to knock five-time winners Brazil out of the World Cup and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1986.
Roberto Martinez’s side turned on the style in Kazan to clock up their fifth straight win of the tournament and ensure the semi-finals will be contested by four European sides for the first time.
Brazil had conceded just one goal in their past four games in Russia but were behind early when Nacer Chadli’s corner struck Fernandinho’s arm and flew into the net, the 10th own goal of this World Cup.
Fernandinho’s Manchester City team-mate Kevin de Bruyne doubled Belgium’s lead with a sublime arrowed finish from 20 yards after Romelu Lukaku’s powerful run.
In an entertaining and open game, Brazil hit the post when the match was goalless – Thiago Silva missing in front of a gaping net after Neymar’s corner – before substitute Renato Augusto gave Brazil hope with a headed goal after Philippe Coutinho’s delicious pass.
However, the South Americans became the latest heavyweight to depart the competition after holders Germany and other past winners Argentina, Spain and Uruguay.
Impressive Belgium will now face France, 2-0 winners over Uruguay earlier on Friday, in a semi-final in St Petersburg next Tuesday, 10 July.
The other semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday 11 July will be contested between the winners of Saturday’s quarter-finals featuring Sweden versus England and Russia versus Croatia.
Brazil 1 – 2 Belgium | FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final – Match Highlights
- 13′ 0 – 1 [Own Goal] Fernandinho own goal puts Belgium in front against Brazil. Into his own net! Nacer Chadli swings in the corner to the front post, no Belgium player is getting on the end of it. Gabriel Jesus looks like he distracts Fernandinho, who mis-times the jump for the header, and the ball bounces off his arm and into the net. An early goal and now we see what Brazil are made of.
- 31′ 0 – 2 Kevin De Bruyne superb wonder strike from 20-yard finish to puts Belgium 2-0 up against Brazil. What a strike! Belgium double their lead. Brazil cannot handle Romelu Lukaku, who bursts straight through the middle of the park. He lays the ball on to Kevin de Bruyne. Does he have the same composure as his team-mate? Of course, he does, taking a couple of touches before arrowing a finish into the far corner. A goal made in Manchester.
- 76′ 1 – 2 Renato Augusto scores with a header to pull a goal back for Brazil! What a substitution by Tite. Renato Augusto has only been on the field a matter of minutes and he rises highest to flick in a header from Philippe Coutinho’s delightful cross with the outside of his foot. Game very much on now.
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