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Brazil vs Belgium
2018 FIFA World Cup
Belgium’s golden generation is well on its way to World Cup glory following a terrific performance to upset Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The red devils produced an attacking masterpiece in the first half, and deservedly held a two nil lead at halftime as a Fernandinho own goal and a Kevin De Bruyne masterpiece gave Belgium the advantage.
Brazil had their chances throughout the contest, but were denied by wasteful finishing, the post and a very in-form Courtois.
Belgium now advance to a semifinal against neighbours France who earlier accounted for Uruguay two nil. There are now no South American nations left in the tournament which means that the World Cup will be staying in Europe for another four years.
That means little though to Belgium. They will now fancy their chances of going all the way after upsetting the five time world champions.
As for Brazil, the wait goes on for Neymar, who will be 30 years of age by the time Qatar 2022 rolls around. Will he join Messi and Ronaldo on the list of great players to have never won football’s greatest prize?
Belgium stars such as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelo Lukaku and company however can all etch their names into footballing immortality if they can produce two more outstanding performances in Russia.
Belgium’s golden generation will have to perform at its best tonight if they hope to defeat Brazil and secure passage to the World Cup semi-finals. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 4am AEST.
Both Belgium and Brazil face arguably their biggest test in Russia to date, as they square off against one another in what promising to be a very entertaining quarter-final.
Belgium’s attack is firing on all cylinders so far, with 12 goals scored. However, it must be noted that the majority of those goals came against tournament minnows Tunisia and Panama – arguably the two weakest teams at this World Cup.
Brazil in comparison have only scored seven goals, but have faced much more stubborn opposition in Switzerland, Serbia, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Indeed Belgium’s soft opening to the tournament nearly cost them dearly in the round of 16. They were being outplayed by Japan before mounting a great comeback en route to a memorable 3-2 win.
Such miracles however will not come to fruition if Belgium give up a similar lead to Brazil.
Brazil have only conceded once in Russia thus far, and that was from a set piece against Switzerland in the opening match.
Since then, Brazil’s back four has not been pushed but Belgium should provide the selecao defence with its toughest examination to date.
If Belgium are to win tonight, Premier League stars Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelo Lukaku have to produce career-best performances for their national team.
Belgium also needs to defy history if it is to shed below-par performances at the quarter-final stage in major tournaments.
After Argentina eliminated Belgium in Brazil four years ago, the European nation also suffered an unexpected exit in Euro 2016 at the hands of Wales, who didn’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup.
If Belgium wish to prove that they belong amongst the established superpowers of world football, they have to perform well tonight against the greatest footballing power of them all.
The first and only time the sides previously met at a World Cup was in the last 16 in 2002 when goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo earned victory for a Brazil team that would go on to lift the title.
That is a result that current playmakers Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, who have each been directly involved in three goals already, would no doubt be more than happy to emulate.
Belgium though do have what it takes to penetrate Brazil’s back four, but Brazil’s obligation to lift a sixth World Cup may prove too much for Belgium to defy tonight.
Brazil to win 2-1