header decal

News

07 Jul 2018

Belgium 2-1 Brazil: 5 things we learned

Reuters/JOHN SIBLEY

After Argentina failed to cope with France, and Germany withered against South Korea, another giant was lost in Kazan - Brazil outdone by Belgium. For the first time in history, the World Cup semi-finals will take place without one or more of Germany, Argentina and Brazil. 

Fernandinho was unfortunate to score an early own goal, heading past his goalie after the distracting flick-on of his Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany.

Setting the scene for an open game, Belgium took full advantage with Kevin De Bruyne doubling the Belgian lead after half an hour. Time and again they looked dangerous, streaming forward and taking advantage of the gaps in the wide areas.

Gabriel Jesus was ineffective but unlucky not to win his side a penalty, fouled by Vincent Kompany, before being replaced by Roberto Firmino early in the second half. It was a change that gave Brazil more attacking impetus as they pushed to get back into the game. 

Douglas Costa replaced Willian to give the Belgian defenders more headaches, but it was the less flashy Renato Augusto that got Brazil back into the game, leaping onto Coutinho's deftly chipped through ball. 

Brazil looked to have the bit between their teeth and had their opponents hanging on, but the final whistle eventually came to give Belgium one of the greatest wins in their history.

Here are five things we learned: