The second clash of July 6 is a mouth-watering draw between Brazil and Belgium. Belgium's' "Golden Generation" will be pitted against Tite's 'New Brazil' who have shown some promising performances on their way to the quarter-finals. Both the teams are considered firm favourites to win the 21st World Cup. Neymar led Brazil vs Hazard led Belgium is set to take place in 2nd quarterfinal match of Fifa World Cup 2018.
Full-time match report: Belgium outclassed Brazil in an evenly-contested quarterfinal match that could have gone either way at the Kazan Arena. When they could, Belgium dominated, creating chances after chances and not letting an inch of space for Brazil to breathe. Most of that happened in the first half when they scored two, courtesy an own goal by Fernandinho and a cracking low-shot by Kevin De Bruyne. But Belgium's real victory came in the second half, when they played second-fiddle to Brazil and also conceded a goal but remained firm enough to see the match through and end of the winning side.
It was also a tactical victory for Belgium coach Robert Martinez who changed his three-back formation to four defenders and moved striker Romelu Lukaku to the right wing, playing De Bruyne in the centre and bringing in disruptor Marouane Fellaini into the starting line-up. This is where Brazil missed their own disruptor, Casemiro, who was suspended for the match after picking up a booking in the group game against Switzerland. Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku ran through the midfield of Coutinho, Paulinho and Fernandinho at will, with none of the Brazilian midfielders contributing defensively.
But it wasn't all gloomy for Brazil from the start. In fact, Brazil enjoyed greater control of the game for the majority of the game. That included the beginning. As soon as in the sixth minute, Thiago Silva failed to connect well with a ball and could only loop it up before Thibaut Courtois lapped it. Three minutes later, the Selecaos got a corner down the right. Willian took the free-kick and the ball missed everybody to reach Paulinho who had the goal gaping in front of him but his awkward shot was tame and goalkeeper Courtois comfortably collected it.
These misses proved costly for Brazil as Belgium scored their first goal minutes later. In fact, it was a Brazil player who scored it, but for Belgium. In the 13th minute, Belgium got a corner and Kompany glanced the delivery with his header only for Fernandinho to deflect the ball with his elbow and into the net. Brazil nearly replied within minutes when Neymar dribbled down the left, reached the byline and flicked low towards the near post. However, Gabriel Jesus couldn't connect from six yards and Belgium cleared.
The Red Devils' second goal came in the 30th minute, when De Bruyne scored a screamer. Lukaku started the move, sprinting down the middle and slipping a pass to De Bruyne before being taken down by a number of yellow shirts. De Bruyne, all alone, launched a low screamer into the bottom left to make it 2-0. From then on till the end of the first half, it was all Belgium. They were brilliant in counter-attack and creative in possession. They could have scored one more, two, three.. many more. But so could have Brazil who matched their rivals in the beginning minutes and created chances after chances only for the shots to be either saved or narrowly miss the target.
Brazil made a change in personnel at half time, with Willian substituted out for Roberto Firminho. For whatever reason, Brazil improved in the second half and became more proactive. In the 50th minute, Marcelo danced down the left side of the box before putting in a low cross whicih Firminho couldn't put his toe-finish to and the ball rolled out. Brazil's coach Tite then took off his underwhelming striker Gabriel Jesus for Douglas Costa. The Juventus player proved a key attacking element for Brazil. In the 67th minute, Costa danced down the right and tried to play it square to onrushing Firminho but a diving Courtois put the ball out. Philippe Coutinho tries his trademark curler shot but couldn't go past an impressive Courtois.
In the 76th minute though, a goal came for persistent Brazil when Coutinho spotted the run of another substitute Renato Agusto, who have been on the field for just a few minutes, and looped a wonderful pass on his path. Augsto directed his header to the bottom right corner and beyond Courtois' reach to make it 1-2.
Brazil turned it on in the final 10 minutes but couldn't apply the finishing touch. In the 80th minute, Coutinho slipped a pass down the middle for Augusto, who pulled the trigger and sent a fierce low shot inches wide of the bottom left. Then three minutes later, Coutinho himself missed a glorious chance when Neymar ran through the Belgian defence on the left before laying the ball off for onrushing Coutinho but the Barcelona player could only shoot his effort over the bar!
Neymar, who had been anything but impressive the entire match, made one last try in the injury time when he received a pass outside the box in the middle and curled his shot into the top corner only for Courtois to jump and tip it over the bar.
After the final-time whistle blew, all the Belgian players fell into each other's arms in jubilation. The Brazilians were all isolated, most of them sat then and there on the field wearing haunted look on their faces. Belgium's coach Martinez was full of praise for his players and said their performance against Brazil was "special".
"There were incredible hearts out there. Sometimes you have to accept that Brazil have so much finesse and quality that they’re going to break you down. But we didn’t accept it. Not for one minute did they give up. This was something special," he said, adding that the execution of the tactics was "magnificent".
Belgium will play France in the semi-finals and the two teams have been among the most entertaining teams in the current edition of the World Cup. To see them fighting it out at a crucial phase of the tournament looks like a tasty fixture. But so was this match, and Tite's Brazil who had been magnificent ever since his appointment will now pack their bags to return home. Going by the form they were in, the Brazilians definitely wouldn't have seen this coming but neither did most of the people and that is why it makes this result an upset despite the better team going home winners.Live updates:
Minute 90+3-- Courtois denies Neymar!! The PSG winger curls one that is destined to find the net only for the Chelsea shot-stopper to jump and tip it over the bar!
Minute 89 -- Fagner is shown the yellow card for pulling down Hazard who was looking to dreak away.
Minute 86 -- Belgium substitutions: Lukaku is replaced by Youri Tielemans.
Minute 83 -- Coutinho misses! Neymar is laid down the left and he runs through the Belgian defence before laying it off for onrushing Coutinho but the Barcelona player can only shoot his effort over the bar!
Minute 81 -- Belgium make a substitution: Chadli goes out and is replaced by Vermaelen.
Minute 80 -- What a miss! Coutinho slips a pass down the middle for Augusto, who pulls the trigger and sends a fierce low shot inches wide of the bottom left. Courtois was rooted to the spot.
Minute 76 (GOAL!!) -- Renato Agusto scores for Brazil. Coutinho spots Augsto's run and loops a wonderful pass to his path. Augsto directs his header to the bottom right corner beyond Courtois' reach.
Minute 72 -- Substitution: Renato Agusto in for Paulinho.
Minute 70 -- Meunier gets a card for stepping across Neymar. He'll miss the semi-final if Belgium qualify for it.
Minute 67 -- Douglas Costa dances down the right and tries to play it square to onrushing Firminho but a diving Courtois puts the ball out.
Minute 67 - De Bruyne puts in a slicing pass to Hazard down the left after a break but the Chelsea talisman 's low drive narrowly misses the target.Minute 57-- Brazil substitution: Douglas Costa replaces Gabriel Jesus.
Minute 55-- VAR moment!! Gabriel Jesus goes down inside the box from a challenge by Kompany. The referee consults VAR and ... it's play on.
Minute 50 -- Marcelo dances down the left side of the box before putting in a low cross which Firminho cannot put his foot too and the ball rolls out. Nearly.. nearly..
Minute 46-- Alderweireld is shown a card for bundling Paulinho.
Substitution:Brazil make a half-time substitution: Willian out , Firminho in
Half-time report: It's rare but sometimes nearly every player of a great team click and when that happens, it's a terrifying scenario for the opposition team. That's what's happening at the Kazan Arena where Belgium are absolutely dominating the proceedings and thereby leading 2-0 at half-time, courtsey goals by De Bruyne and a Fernandinho own-goal.
They could have scored one more, two, three.. many more. But so could have Brazil who matched their rivals in the beginning minutes and created chances after chances only for the shots to be either saved or narrowly miss the target.
The first goal came in the 13th minute when Belgium got a corner. Kompany headed the ball which deflected off Fernandinho's elbow and into the net.
Belgium nearly replied within minutes when Neymar dribbled down the left, reached the byline and flicked low towards the near post. However, Gabriel Jesus couldn't connect from six yards and Belgium cleared.
The Red Devils' second goal came in the 30th minute, when De Bruyne scored a screamer. Lukaku started the move, sprinting down the middle and slipped a pass to De Bruyne before being taken down by a number of yellow shirts. De Bruyne, who is all alone, launched a low screamer into the bottom left to make it 2-0.
From then on, it has been all Belgium. Brazil will need to stage an epic and historical comeback if they want to advance from this stage. It's possible but incredibly difficult against this Belgian side.Minute 40-- Belgium get a free-kick at a very dangerous distance and position. De Bruyne, who earned the free-kick takes a dipping free-kick which Allison somehow turns it over the bar. The corner is at the near post and Kompany tries a cheeky back-heel but Allison is there to save it.
Minute 36 -- Coutinho tries his special and it nearly finds the right-hand side of the net but Courtois is long enough and makes a desperate dive to palm it away.
Minute 30 (GOAL!!) -- De Bruyne doubles the lead!!! Lukaku starts the break down the middle and slips a pass to De Bruyne before being taken down by a number of yellow shirts. De Bruyne is all alone and he launches a low screamer into the bottom left! Brazil 0-Belgium 2!!!!
Minute 29 -- Vertonghen is penalised for flicking Neymar into the air, near the right-hand corner flag. Brazil load the box. Willian takes the free-kick but after a few tries the ball is again out for corner.
Minute 25 -- Marcelo takes matter into his own legs and drives a low shot from outside the box which Courtois punches away. Belgium again break and Hazard skips down the left wing and tries a pass to Lukaku in the centre but his pass is intercepted.
Minute 20 -- Vital block by Marcelo! Hazard goes on a great run from the midfield to near the box while escaping almost four players after employing a clever one-two with De Bruyne. He passes it to Meunier who tries to cross it for Lukaku in the centre but his cross is blocked!
Minute 19 -- Jesus brings down Witsel in the midfield for no apparent reason.
Minute 15 -- Brazil nearly equalise! Neymar dribbles down the left, reaches the byline and flicks low towards the near post. Jesus is there to meet it, six yards out, but can't sort the shape of his body out in time, and doesn’t really connect properly as he swivels to shoot. Belgium clear.
Minute 13 (GOAL!!)--Belgium score!!! Kompany heads a corner towards goal and it takes a deflection off Fernandinho's elbow and into the net. Belgium 1-Brazil 0
Minute 12 -- De Bruyne puts in a lovely through ball for Fellaini but the burly midfielder can't control the pass.
Minute 9 -- Brazil get a corner down the right. Willian takes the free-kick and the ball misses everybody to reach Paulinho who has the goal gaping in front of him but his awkward shot is tame.
Minute 6 -- Brazil get a corner on the left and Neymar swings it into the box. Fernandinho gets a touch on the ball which flies to Thiago Silva but he can only loop the ball up and on the sidebar which Courtois then scrambles to collect. On the other end, Belgium start a counter which ends with Hazard's shot getting blocked.Minute 5 -- Fellaini bundles Neymar in the midfield and gets warning from the referee.
Minute 1 -- De Bruyne dispossess Fernandinho in the midfield and cracks one from outside the box but it's off-target.
Peeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppp!! And.. kick-off!!
Brazil: Alisson, Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo, Paulinho, Fernandinho, Willian, Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus.
Subs: Cassio, Pedro Geromel, Filipe Luis, Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto, Marquinhos, Fred, Firmino, Taison, Ederson.
Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Meunier, Fellaini, Witsel, Chadli, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Eden Hazard.
Subs: Mignolet, Vermaelen, Carrasco, Mertens, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Boyata, Batshuayi, Dendoncker, Casteels.
Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia).
There has been heavy criticism on Neymar for his playacting during the course of Fifa World Cup 2018. Here's how he wasted 14 minutes in the World Cup.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has admitted he has no secrets as he plots to end Brazil's bid for a record-extending sixth World Cup ahead of their "dream" quarter-final in Kazan. His Brazillian counterpart said he is desperate to avoid the "horror" of penalties and is confident that the 'cool-headed' Brazilians can secure their semi-final spot over the 90 minutes.
"It's a dream match for our players," Martinez told the Belgian press after sealing qualification for the last eight with a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Japan in the first phase of the knockout rounds.
Catch live updates of Uruguay vs France quarterfinal match here
"There won't be many secrets to the game. We have to defend as well as we can and then punish them when we have the ball."
"It's that simple, and this team is ready for that." On paper, a Belgium side containing the talents of Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku have the potential to cause real trouble to the five-time world champions
But, the Red Devils know that the match against the Selecaos could be the last chance for their 'Golden Generation' to shine on the world stage.
Third-ranked Belgium reached the quarter-finals in 2014 in Brazil but the last time they got so far was in 1986, when Frank Vercauteren steered them to the semi-finals before a Diego Maradona double ended their hopes in a 2-0 defeat in Mexico.
In the Group 16 match, Belgium mounted a stirring fightback to beat Japan, with Nacer Chadli scoring the winner in the 94th minute.
The Red Devils became the first team in 48 years to overcome a 2-0 deficit in a World Cup knockout match. Despite the thrilling victory and scoring nine times in wins over Panama (3-0), Tunisia (5-2) and England (1-0) before the Japan game, Belgium will have to lift their game significantly to beat a well-drilled Brazil side increasingly dancing to the tune of a star-packed squad.
The Belgium team starring Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, were tipped by many football pundits as outsiders to win their first-ever World Cup.
Those expectations have since been tempered after Belgium sneaked into the last eight following a last-gasp 3-2 win over Japan.
If the Red Devils are to overcome a steadily improving Brazil team, with Neymar an ever-more influential figure, they will have to up their game.
Meanwhile, Brazil seem to have found their mojo again after a slow start to their Russian campaign with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland. The Selecaos have put on an impressive show against Mexico in the last 16. Even though Brazil's number 10 Neymar was stigmatised for excessive play-acting, the PSG-player showed his character, scoring the opener and setting up Roberto Firmino for the second.
The ex-Barcelona player signalled that he has fully recovered from his recent injury lay-off and his pace, technique and all-round vision allied to Willian's slick movement could give severe headaches to Belgium's defence.
Apart from all the attacking riches, Belgium's biggest problem could be piercing a robust defence that has conceded just once, in their 1-1 opening draw with Switzerland. Although Casemiro's double yellow card will create a vacuum in the defensive midfield but the replacement, Fernanidho knows the Belgians up and close. The 33-year-old will play a crucial role in the duel against his brilliant Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne.
Brazil's centre-back pairing of Joao Miranda and Thiago Silva have been solid and will aim to keep it that way as the five-time champions target a place in the semi-finals and a match with either France or Uruguay.
The coach highlighted a number of reasons Belgium should fear his team — their speed on the counter-attack, ability to produce magic as well as a miserly defence that has conceded just a single goal in Russia.
"The characteristics of my players mean they're designed to score," said Tite. "We weathered the storm against Mexico, came back into the game and eventually, our opponents hardly touched the ball.
"When we counter-attack, our speed is crucial in turning things around.
"We have dribbling and technical skill in the final third of the pitch. Neymar, Jesus, maybe Firmino a little less, and Taison and Willian all give us those elements.
"They can all go man to man thanks to their ability to dribble, feint and produce a touch of magic" Tite admitted the improved performance against Mexico left him more relaxed, also highlighting the importance of mental strength.
"The greatest challenge of a World Cup is having mental fortitude. The pressure is immense," he said.
"We all feel it, but I tell the players, 'don't listen and don't watch'. We also need the common sense not to show euphoria when we win, but to also not to fear of losing.
"It's important to keep our cool and produce another strong performance."
Brazil are set to welcome Real Madrid defender Marcelo back after he was forced off during the 2-0 group-stage win against Serbia with back spasms. His return means Filipe Luis , who played well in his absence, will be benched along with Firmino, who would also start on the bench despite scoring in the Mexico game.
Brazil vs Belgium quarterfinal: When and Where to Watch
Match: Brazil vs Belgium
When and Where to watch: Brazil vs Belgium
Time: 11:30 PM (IST)
Brazil vs Belgium will take place in Kazan Arena, Kazan on Friday, July 6, 2018 at 11:30 PM (IST).
Brazil vs Belgium match will be broadcast on Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 2 HD in English Commentary and Sony Ten 3 and Sony 3 HD in Hindi Commentary.
Brazil vs Belgium match will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv also. And Both Airtel and Jio would broadcast the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches for free to their respective subscribers.
Here is the full list of Brazil's 23-member squad:
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio
Defenders: Miranda, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Fagner, Pedro Geromel, Danilo
Midfielders: Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Fred
Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Neymar, Taison
Here is the 23-member squad of Belgium:
Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Laurent Ciman, Leander Dendoncker, Christian Kabasele, Vincent Kompany, Jordan Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen
Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco, Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj, Thomas Meunier, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens