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Belgium eliminate Brazil to reach World Cup semifinals

07 Juillet 2018

Only a three-goal comeback in the last 15 minutes saw Roberto Martinez's side book their ticket for the last eight. The victor in Kazan will meet France in the semifinals.

"These boys deserve to be heroes in Belgium", said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

This should be an exciting game to watch, as it'll pit Belgium's relentless offense against Brazil's impenetrable defense.

Like Lukaku, De Bruyne has now come up big when his nation needed him the most multiple times this tournament.

Brazil had been in control with a high press and a couple of good chances, including a Thiago Silva's effort onto the post. Prediction: "Brazil 3 Belgium 1".

The five-time champions came to Russian Federation desperate to make amends for their stunning 7-1 semi-final defeat on home soil to Germany in 2014. In Neymar, Brazil has a world beater who can produce a moment of magic for his country. "It was hard to swallow".

They had not conceded a goal in Russian Federation since a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their first group match. But it was breached after 13 minutes in Tatarstan. Fernandinho's own-goal ensured for the first time since March 2017 that Brazil was trailing in a competitive match.

For that reason, I don't think this will be easy for Brazil, but I believe they have conditions to progress and predict a 2-1 victory. Marcelo also tested Courtois but it was Belgium who looked the more threatening as they launched wave after wave of counter-attacks.

"They were more effective", Tite said, struggling to hold back tears. "Not a superiority in terms of performance, but in terms of effectiveness on the pitch".

After a blip against Switzerland, Brazil have picked up 3 wins from their last three game and are a team on the ascendancy with Coutinho and Neymar leading the charge.

"You can see our lack of experience sometimes, but we have so many qualities too". "This is something special".

Belgium have not lost a game since a friendly defeat to Spain in August, 2016 - a 23-game unbeaten run. 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.

Neymar had a penalty shout waved off early in the second half as he charged into the box and appeared to be tripped, but replays showed the referee made the right call.

"Neymar is one of the biggest exponents of. decisive one-versus-one situations, so we'll have to keep an eye on him and allow our players to have a bigger role in the game".

But it wasn't all good news for the Belgian side, Thomas Meunier was handed a yellow card after tripping Neymar, meaning that he won't be joining his team in the semi-final.

"We respect immensely Brazil and Tite, the work he has done", Martinez said at the Kazan Arena.

It will be the first time since 2006 that four European teams will feature in the World Cup semifinals.

Belgium will now face off against France in a much-anticipated semifinal match. De Bruyne made no mistake as he lashed home a thunderous drive from distance.

Belgium eliminate Brazil to reach World Cup semifinals