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Belgium beat Brazil 2-1, will play France in World Cup semifinal

08 July 2018

Neymar, who was criticized ahead of the game for having spent almost 14 minutes on the floor cumulatively in Brazil's first four games, flung himself down but was told to get back up. We had to be fearless tactically. "It's about execution of the tactics". "If you execute it like the players did, it makes it hard for them".

Belgium is starting to dream of becoming World Cup champions after their quarter-final victory over Brazil while the South American country is searching for answers after its latest tournament heartbreak. "We lost to a great team who took their chances to score two goals".

Martinez switched from his favoured 3-4-2-1 set-up to a 4-3-3 in Kazan and it paid off, as Brazil struggled to cope with the Red Devils during the first half.

"We played well but it was not the flawless match".

"Everyone thinks Romelu Lukaku is just about goals, goals, goals, but I want to be seen as an all-rounder", Lukaku said.

Man of the Match De Bruyne, playing in a more advanced role than he had in Belgium's previous four matches, was at the heart of his team's best work, managing the transition from rearguard defence to attack with vision, pace and accuracy. "And I will be the first to fight till the last minutes and I hope my teammates follow my example".

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I do think [Harry] Kane can bring them to the final, because neither Russian Federation or Croatia are unbeatable teams for them".

"Sometimes you have to accept that Brazil has got this finesse, that quality, and that they're going to break you down, and (Belgium) just refused to accept that", Martinez said.

De Bruyne then completed a counterattack launched by Lukaku to double the lead in the 31st minute.

In the end, it proved decisive.

Suddenly, with the match seemingly drifting away from them, Brazil were back in the game, as a wonderful through ball from Coutinho was headed home in emphatic fashion by substitute Augusto in the 76th minute.

Four years ago, as World Cup hosts, Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by eventual winners Germany at the semi-final stage with Neymar absent through injury.

Belgium wasted several chances to add a third. I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm gonna say it because Kawhi is about to be out of there. Perenially among the World Cup favourites, they so often fall short of expectations and there has to be a feeling of regret at the way they exited the 2018 event in Kazan on Friday.

Belgium beat Brazil 2-1, will play France in World Cup semifinal