Belgium knocks soccer powerhouse Brazil out of World Cup

Neymar v Hazard Coutinho v De Bruyne- How Brazil and Belgium stars have fared in Russia

Neymar v Hazard Coutinho v De Bruyne- How Brazil and Belgium stars have fared in Russia

Belgium ran out 2-1 winners against Brazil to end the Selecao's World Cup at the quarterfinal stage on Friday night, sending Neymar's side home from Russian Federation and putting Roberto Martinez's team into the semifinals.

If Belgium " s first goal in the 13th minute had an element of luck - the ball going into the net off Fernandinho's shoulder from a corner - the second in the 31st minute was a shining example of counter-attacking football.

Brazil struggled to handle their pace and the second goal came just after the half-hour as Romelu Lukaku charged from deep and fed De Bruyne outside the area.

The Brazil Football Federation (CBF) have hit back at fans for directing racist abuse at Fernandinho and his family following the 2-1 loss to Belgium in the World Cup.

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He's a shining light for us all, and we have to do our very best to all try to be at his level. "In this World Cup , he helped us so much, scoring four goals".

Belgium produced a stunning performance to claim a place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over five-times champions Brazil in Kazan.

Belgium face France in the semifinals on Tuesday. It was just the second time the Red Devils have made it that far in a World Cup, matching their feat from 1986 - when they last had a self-styled golden generation.

Just think of all the great dribblers that have played against inferior opposition at a World Cup and none of them could produce such efficiency.

A fearless Belgium showcased their attacking brilliance then survived a spirited Brazilian fightback to claim a 2-1 win over the tournament favourites at Kazan Arena and reach the last four for the first time in 32 years.

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And the world number 82 held his nerve to convert his fourth match point and win 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 7-5. Venus Williams has become the latest former champion to be knocked out at Wimbledon.

"Randomness happened and it was cruel to us", Brazil coach Tite said.

Martinez admitted his Belgium players had to be "brave" when adopting his change of tactics against Brazil.

On his personal Instagram account, the 26-year-old - who was widely criticised for perceived simulation in multiple World Cup matches - said: "I can tell you that this is the saddest moment of my career".

Now in their prime, this group of players is unlikely to get a better opportunity to win a major global tournament than over the course of the next week, with France to come in the last four on Tuesday. He is more concerned about being on the floor. When Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois tipped Neymar's last-gasp effort over the crossbar at the death, the last of the 26 shots sent toward his net, Brazil was going home.

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There is likely to be yet more drama in their quarterfinal encounter, a game in which Kompany said his country start as underdogs. Brazil forward Neymar has had 24 shots in Russian Federation , more than anyone else at the tournament.

"My all-round game is always my strong point, I try to make other players better, I want to score as much as possible and also give as many assists as possible, and I am very busy with the team, so I can be important too".

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