Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Belgium knocks soccer powerhouse Brazil out of World Cup

Belgium knocks soccer powerhouse Brazil out of World Cup

Neymar now has two goals to his name for Brazil during the tournament and will look to add to his tally when they take on Belgium in the quarter-finals this evening.

Brazil are priced at 23/20 to win the match in 90 minutes, with Belgium available at 13/5 and the draw on offer at 12/5.

Kevin De Bruyne delivered the corner that led to the own goal and scored the second himself, yet the Belgium playmaker also impressed with his energy and defensive efforts.

Neymar did finally come to life in injury time, forcing a brilliant save from Thibaut Courtois with a curling shot from outside the area, but it was not enough to sustain his team's challenge. And when it kicked off, the contest was as open as expected.

Tite's favourites are looking to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the second time in succession, while the Red Devils are looking to go one further than their quarter-final exit in 2014.

While Belgium's golden generation is finally flourishing, Neymar is leading Brazil home after failing to live up to the expectations that come with being soccer's most expensive player. Eden Hazard left Paulinho for dead with a superb piece of skill, before passing to the overlapping Thomas Meunier, who couldn't find Romelu Lukaku with his cross.

Moments later, Belgium would double the lead with a rapid counterattack led by imposing forward Lukaku.

"Lukaku and Hazard were played wide, with De Bruyne shifted up front to play just behind them - in the middle".

Neymar has been slammed for his theatrics at the World Cup. It didn't help their cause when Gabriel Jesus wasted a free header.

They now reach the last four of the competition - vindication, perhaps, for the manager's swashbuckling style after much criticism following a narrow win over Japan in the previous round, and indeed Premier League tenures at Wigan and Everton. For all their menacing attacks, the Seleção lacked penetration and rarely stretched Courtois. We were magnificent in the first half. The Spaniard hasn't always enjoyed the confidence of Belgian fans or media, but his tactics looked spot on.

Tite replaced the ineffective Willian with Roberto Firmino at half-time and soon after changed Jesus for Douglas Costa. Reminiscent of their on-the-break victor against Japan, Kevin De Bruyne polished off a flawless attack move with a sumptuously struck finish.

They go out with their heads held high, though, after leaving everything on the pitch as they chased an equaliser in the last 14 minutes of the match in the wake of substitute Renato Augusto's fine headed goal.

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