Belgium ended Brazil's dream of a sixth World Cup title when they beat the South Americans 2-1 in a dramatic, enthralling end-to-end quarter-final on Friday to earn a semi-final encounter against France.
Though dominated the opening stages, Brazil’s bizarre own goal give Belgium an early lead. Brazil’s biggest disgraceful self goal came in the 13th minute throught midfielder Fernandinho. From a Belgium corner on the right, midfielder Fernandinho rose to head the ball away. Distracted by a teammate leaping in front of him, Fernandinho lost his rhythm, missed his header altogether, and could only watch in horror as the ball slipped off his arm, past Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and into the net.
Belgium took advantage of some wide open spaces in the Brazil defence when Romelu Lukaku passed the ball to an unmarked Kevin de Bruyne who fired home their second goal in the 31st minute. Brazil’s legendary striker Neymar was almost dysfunctional in the match as he was toughly marked by Belgian defenders.
Brazil threw everything at Belgium in the second half and finally found a way past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a Renato Augusto header in the 76th minute. But despite laying siege to the Belgian goal, they could not find an equaliser. UNI-Reuters