The most anticipated game of the World Cup lived up to the hype.
Belgium advanced to its first World Cup semifinal since 1986, as it survived a 2-1 thriller against Brazil in Kazan.
An own goal by Fernandinho and a wonderful strike from Kevin De Bruyne powered Roberto Martinez’s men into a semifinal showdown with France.
Belgium got on the board in the 13th minute, when Vincent Kompany’s header off a Nacer Chadli corner kick glanced off Fernandinho and past Alisson.
The second goal from the Red Devils came 18 minutes later off yet another brilliant Belgium counter. De Bruyne blasted a shot from outside the box into the bottom-left corner to open up the advantage to two goals.
Brazil mounted the pressure in the final third throughout the second half, and it finally received a breakthrough in the 76th minute, when Renato Augusto headed home a beautiful chip from Philippe Coutinho.
However, that would be all the Selecao could muster, as Augusto and Coutinho missed golden opportunities to equalize in the final 15 minutes.
Belgium’s quest to cash in on its golden generation of talent and win a World Cup continues Tuesday in St.Petersburg.
Man of the Match
Thibaut Courtois turned in a terrific performance in net by denying seven shots from a threatening Brazilian attack.
Moment of the Match
Belgium’s counter that led to De Bruyne’s goal was incredible, but Courtois’ last-minute save in stoppage time was the most important play of the contest for Belgium.
Match to Forget
Neymar leaves the tournament with two goals and a damaged reputation due to his diving antics.