Brazil 1-2 Belgium


Brazil's World Cup came to a premature end on Friday, when the five-time victor was eliminated from the competition following a 2-1 loss to a talented Belgium side at Kazan Arena.

Widely regarded as one of the world's best goalkeepers, Courtois has won two Premier League titles with Chelsea and La Liga while on loan at Atletico Madrid, but his nine-save display against Brazil was one of his best yet on the big worldwide stage.

After two days rest and recuperation - for both players and fans alike! - the World Cup finals get back underway with a vengeance in Russian Federation today with two mouth-watering quarter-finals to look forward to.

The 1-0 scoreline didn't last long, as Belgium doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark.

Brazil started brighly before a corner kick took a deflection off Fernandinho to give Belgium the lead in the 13th minute.

Four years after the drama of Neymar's injury and a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil, Brazil were forced back to the drawing board as they followed neighbours Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia in exiting the tournament earlier than hoped.

Belgium, which last reached the semifinals in 1986, will next face 1998 champion France in St. Petersburg.

"For me, Brazil are the best team in the tournament and without a doubt the biggest threat from open play".

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Belgium eliminated Brazil by successfully fusing the attacking potency of De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku with the creativity of Eden Hazard and the goalkeeping exploits of Thibaut Courtois.

"You have to accept that Brazil have so much quality and finesse, they break you down, but we did not accept it".

31st minute. Goal. Belgium. "It was all about making the sacrifice, and I wasn't the only one", said Meunier, who patrolled the Belgian right flank virtually single-handedly but picked up a yellow card that will keep him out of the semi-final meeting with France.

Brazil's usually impregnable defence, which had conceded only six goals in 25 matches under coach Tite, suddenly looked very vulnerable and was repeatedly sliced apart in the opening half hour.

The Manchester City player will remain with the squad while undergoing treatment.

Belgium are unbeaten in 23 games, while Brazil have lost only one of their 25 games under coach Tite.

After all was said and done, it was De Bruyne who was head and shoulders above all the others and is now emerging as a world-class talent whether playing for club or country.

Although Brazil fought their way back into the match thanks to Renato Augusto's 76th minute header, they paid the price for missing late chances.