Five-time champions Brazil were aiming for their sixth World Cup championship but their 2018 campaign came to a disappointing end as Belgium stunned the Seleção out of the 2018 Russia World Cup with a hard-fought 2-1 victory on Friday, July 6th.
But Brazil needed to be better, too, as Augusto and Philippe Coutinho both failed to put golden chances on target with the clock ticking toward full time.
However, it was an own-goal from Fernandinho which broke the deadlock in Kazan before Manchester City's De Bruyne doubled Belgium's lead with a stunning long-range strike before half-time.
Humiliated, 7-1, by Germany in the semifinals fours year ago on home soil, Brazil didn't even get that far this time.
They had not conceded a goal in Russian Federation since a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their first group match.
Brazil were nearly caught out as they pushed forward but Eden Hazard fired wide after another quick counter-attack.
It takes some luck to advance from any doe-or-die game, especially at a World Cup.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez applauds fans after the match.
Having played his best game of this year's World Cup against Mexico, the Brazilian speedster is expected to keep his starting berth against the Red Devils on Friday. ALSO READ: Tite backs under-fire Neymar, expects "beautiful" Belgium clashNeymar has undoubtedly been the victim of some tough tackling at his World Cup.
It will be the first time since 2006 that four European teams will feature in the World Cup semifinals.
Brazil are priced at 23/20 to win the match in 90 minutes, with Belgium available at 13/5 and the draw on offer at 12/5. Lukaku quickly darted into the heart of Brazil's midfield and easily fed De Bruyne who launched a long-range laser past a diving Alisson for the 2-0 lead at the 31st minute.
The Selecao enter the game on the back of a convincing 2-0 win over Mexico and without conceding a goal in their last three games.
Firmino so almost drew Brazil level with a shot on the turn as he collected a Neymar pass but he fired just wide, in what was his side's 21st shot of the tie, while Augusto thought he had scored a second on 80 minutes but his shot was agonizingly wide of the left upright.
"They can all go man to man thanks to their ability to dribble, feint and produce a touch of magic".
"But now it is time for each of us to defend our corner and I hope to come out on top", Willian said.
"These two teams are constructed to score and to win matches". In two days they (Belgium's players) changed their tactical disposition.
"I believe defensively they can be taken, but the way in which you do it will have to vary".
"This game was our big test. Brazil are very strong offensively", De Bruyne said.
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