Russia 2018: De Bruyne’s winner sends Belgium into s/final

Russia 2018: De Bruyne’s winner sends Belgium into s/final

The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues to spring up more surprises, after Belgium defeated Brazil in their quarter final tie at the Kazan Arena on Friday.

The very entertaining encounter saw the Red Devils tear into the Samba Boys, netting two first half goals for a 2-1 victory.

A stunning effort from Kevin De Bruyne and an own goal from his Manchester City teammate, Fernandinho earned Roberto Martinez’s men another titanic battle in the last four, against France, who earlier saw off the challenge of Uruguay.

It was a game between two of the highest ranked nations left in the competition, with Brazil, ranked second and Belgium third.

The Selecao started well and dominated possession, but despite looking the most likely to break the deadlock, they found themselves a goal behind after the ball came off Fernandinho’s arm and into own net in the 13th minute.

And just after the half-hour mark, things got worse for the South Americans, as De Bruyne doubled Belgium’s advantage with an excellent shot from just outside the box following good work from Romelu Lukaku.

The half ended with the Europeans deserving of their lead, leaving Tite and his side with more questions than answers.

After the break, it was Brazil who came out smoking, pegging the Red Devils back in their own half, but still were unable to find a way through.

With star man, Neymar virtually tamed, Tite was forced into a couple changes, including Renato Augusto, who was his manager’s last throw of the dice.

Three minutes after coming on, Augusto repaid his manager’s trust, as he gave his side hope, heading home a Philippe Coutinho cross to pull one back for Brazil, bringing scores to 2-1.

That goal seemed to rejuvenate the Five-time winners up, as they continued in search of the elusive equaliser, but the Belgian defense remained resolute.

Brazil did come close, however, to an equaliser at the death, but this time it was Thibaut Courtois who stood in their way, producing a remarkable finger tip save to deny Neymar a moment of glory, as Belgium held all for the win.

With that result, the 21st FIFA World Cup becomes the first with neither Brazil, Argentina nor Germany making the semifinal.

For Belgium, their focus shifts to the semifinal, where they take on fellow Europeans, France for a place in the final on July 15.

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