Sports

Brazil knocked out of WC by Belgium

Brazil knocked out of WC by Belgium
Belgium players celebrate with their supporters after beating Brazil 2-1 on Friday.
Kazan, Jul 7 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/8/2018 12:54:01 AM IST
Kevin De Bruyne’s stunning strike booked Belgium’s place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Brazil.
A first-half double, courtesy of a Fernandinho own-goal (13) and a rasping De Bruyne (31) finish, gave Belgium a big enough cushion in order to repel a Brazilian onslaught in the second period.
Renato Augusto (76) set up a grandstand finish but Belgium, spearheaded by Eden Hazard and a fantastic performance by Thibaut Courtois, held on to make the last four, which means a European team will be winning this year’s tournament.
Belgium were given a helping hand to grab the lead on 13 minutes. Nacer Chadli’s corner from the left was clumsily flicked into his own net by Fernandinho, who was under pressure from Vincent Kompany.
The opening goal was lucky, the second was sheer quality.
Lukaku drove at the heart of the Belgium defence which caused chaos in the Brazilian backline. He offloaded the ball to De Bruyne on the right who was strangely invited onto his right foot by a lacklustre Marcelo. The Manchester City star took a touch and fired straight into the far corner. Brazil went for broke in the second half which left huge space for Hazard and Lukaku to exploit.
Substitute Roberto Firmino almost flicked home a Marcelo cross while Gabriel Jesus had a penalty claim turned down by VAR after Kompany went to ground inside the area.
Brazil’s goal did eventually come after a spell of prolonged pressure with 14 minutes to go. Augusto’s run into the box was not tracked and Philippe Coutinho picked him out with a stunning clipped pass that was headed home by the Beijing Guoan midfielder. Neymar failed to light up the game but he did burst in behind with eight minutes left before cutting the ball box inside the penalty area, but Coutinho’s effort from 12 yards was wayward.
There was one last chance for Neymar for take it to extra-time but Courtois produced a sensational one-handed save to flick a 20-yard curling effort over the crossbar.

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