Belgium lead Brazil on Fernandinho own goal


Perhaps it was the belief instilled in his players by Spanish manager Roberto Martinez and his assistant coach Thierry Henry, a former World Cup victor with France.

The ploy proved a masterstroke as De Bruyne tied Brazil's defence in knots in a brilliant opening half, scoring a stunning 31st minute goal to double the lead after Fernandinho's own goal.

Philippe Coutinho missed a great chance to draw his team level in the 83rd minute after being set up by Neymar. Substitute Renato Augusto scored through a header in the 76th minute. 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.

Brazil's forward Neymar (R) reacts during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Brazil and Belgium at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on July 6, 2018.

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Kevin De Bruyne scores a shocking second goal for Belgium off the counter attack.

Belgium will continue its World Cup campaign on Tuesday when it meets France in the semis.

"Only a few times in a lifetime you might get to go to tournaments and we'll do all we can to be ready and hopefully we can give some nice images of Belgium, that's why we're here and we're going to give everything we can to win that game against France". But Brazil looked impressive against Mexico, and with Neymar getting fitter and more effective with every outing, the Belgians should be concerned.

But they pulled themselves together and came charging back after halftime, showing Belgium that they too have a resilient side - something which many had doubted.

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First up in Nizhny Novgorod, Benjamin Mendy and his richly-talented French colleagues, who have been tipped by many as potential World Cup champions, will lock horns with a Uruguay side who have proved both durable and deadly in navigating their way through to the last eight.

Tite had replaced suspended holding midfielder Casemiro with Fernandinho in his starting line-up, handing the Manchester City player his first World Cup start since he was hauled off at half-time on Brazil's way to the humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany in 2014. There was the penalty shout that fell on deaf ears after striker Gabriel Jesus - who went scoreless in Russian Federation - was taken down by Vincent Kompany 10 minutes into the second half. "But we do play exciting football".

For the third time in a World Cup - after 1982 and 2006 - the semifinals will feature only European teams.

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