Belgium eliminates Brazil, advances to World Cup semifinals

Belgium eliminates Brazil, advances to World Cup semifinals

Belgium eliminates Brazil, advances to World Cup semifinals

After the corner was cleared, Romelu Lukaku went on a mazy run through Brazil's midfield before laying a pass off to his left for the oncoming De Bruyne, who struck his shot low into the corner of the Brazil net and beyond the dive of goalkeeper Alisson.

But as Belgium exhausted, Brazil spurned several clear chances to push the match into extra-time, Augusto drilling wide and Coutinho skewing his effort off target from Neymar's pass.

"We are leaving the World Cup with sadness", said Brazil skipper Miranda.

Against Brazil, again it was Lukaku's link-up play that proved decisive as he powered past Fernandinho and Paulinho on a rapid counter-attack before feeding De Bruyne to smash home from the edge of the area.

"Players have to be fearless to change the way we play and we had two days to do it".

Belgium are the favourites to lift the World Cup this summer according to former Manchester United and England defender, Rio Ferdinand.

Chadli posed for selfies and handed his shirt to a fan as the players stayed out on the pitch to soak up the atmosphere long after the final whistle. A compelling first half ended with Belgium leading 2-0.

Belgium will face France in the semifinals on Tuesday in St. Petersburg after the French team won its game earlier Friday 2-0 against Uruguay.

For De Bruyne, the euphoria that followed Friday's win needs some tempering with nothing achieved yet by Belgium's "golden generation". Brazil is ranked second and Belgium third.

Not when Courtois was proving to be an impenetrable barrier in the Belgium goal, denying Marcelo's strike before the lead was extended by De Bruyne. Renato Augusto provided a lifeline for Brazil to set up a tense finish but Martinez's men were able to hold on to the victory.

A 55th-minute strong penalty appeal by Brazil was waved off by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic. "It's going to give you pleasure...you can sit back and say 'What a match!' Anyone who appreciates football can see that this was a lovely game".

"They weren't superior to us on the pitch‚ but more efficient".

Brazil were nearly caught out as they pushed forward but Eden Hazard fired wide after another quick counter-attack.

The only black spot on Belgium's triumph was a booking of Thomas Meunier, who will miss the semi-final clash with France.

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