The five times world champions and pre tournament favourites, Brazil, have been dumped out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup after a narrow loss to Belgium in the second quarter final game.
Belgium had an explosive start, scoring two first half goals which Brazil tried all they could to pull back but in the end could only half the deficit.
After an exhausting 90 minutes Brazil’s attack remained blunt and Belgium marched on to the semi final stage for only the second time in their history.
This game was the biggest of the quarter final ties with two of the most naturally gifted squads at the tournament going head to head having both won difficult round of 16 ties.
Martinez made changes to his squad from the Japan game, bringing in the two game changers — Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli — to counter Brazil’s industry with their physicality.
It didn’t take long for the first goal to arrive as Fernandinho bundled the ball into his own net from a corner kick.
Brazil took over the game then fighting for the equalizer but were then caught on the counter after a corner.
Romelu Lukaku run over half the length of the pitch with the ball and set up Kevin de Bruyne whose well hit shot sailed past Alison Becker in the Brazilian goal.
Brazil coach Tite made two changes in the second half to change the game and Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino both brought immense urgency to their attack.
Wave after wave of attacks were repelled by the three man Belgian defence until the 76th minute when substitute Renato Augusto headed in Philippe Coutinho’s cross.
Brazil kept searching for that precious equalizer but the Belgian defence and Thibaut Courtois stood tall and eventually won out, dumping Brazil out of the tournament.
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