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Brilliant Belgium Stun Favourites Brazil To Reach World Cup Semi-Final

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JULY 06:Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium celebrates after he scores his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Winner Game 53 and Winner Game 54 at Kazan Arena on July 6, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
  1. Belgium turned in a powerful performance in Kazan on Friday night to dump favourites Brazil out of the World Cup.

Following France’s defeat of Uruguay in Friday’s earlier quarter-final clash, Belgium made it a European double by seeing off the challenge of the Selecao with a 2-1 victory.

A frantic opening suggested that an early goal was likely – and so it proved when Fernandinho diverted a header into his own net with less than fifteen minutes on the clock. The Manchester City midfielder, chosen ahead of Casemiro for this clash, didn’t have the best off outings in the yellow shirt and the own goal just about summed up his whole evening.

One became two just after the half-hour mark as Kevin De Bruyne unleashed a fine strike from outside the box after some brilliant buildup play from Romelu Lukaku – and from there, it really looked as though there would be only one winner.

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JULY 06: Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium celebrates following his sides victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Brazil and Belgium at Kazan Arena on July 6, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Brazil, though, came out of the tunnel in the second half with a renewed sense of purpose, and began probing the Belgian defence in search of a way back into the game. Roberto Firmino and Douglas Costa were introduced to provide fresh impetus into proceedings, but it was to be third substitute Renato Augusto that would leave a bigger mark on the game.

The Beijing Guoan midfielder met Philippe Coutinho’s ball into the box to head past Thibaut Courtois to narrow the deficit with fifteen minutes remaining, before spurning a decent opportunity to level it up not long after.

Brazil huffed and puffed in the closing stages but it wasn’t to be for Tite’s men – Brazil suffer a World Cup exit almost as heartbreaking as the 7-1 thrashing by Germany four years ago, but this night belongs to Roberto Martinez and Belgium.

France, and a battle for a place in the 2018 World Cup final, awaits.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.