FIFA World Cup, Highlights: Brazil 1 – 2 Belgium

Brazil 1 - 2 Belgium

Belgium maintained their 100% record in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with an exceptional Performance against Five-Time World Champions Brazil. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne starred for Belgium in an emphatic 2-1 win that saw Belgium advance to the Semi-Finals of the FIFA World Cup for only the Second time ( their first appearance came in 1986).

Belgium went ahead in the 13th minute went Vincent Kompany’s header deflected off Fernandinho’s elbow to register an own goal. Brazil consistently dominated possession but couldn’t get past Belgium’s organized back-line. Belgium broke on the counter-attack with pace and agility, Romelu Lukaku’s excellent run created space for De Bruyne who’s venomous strike from outside the box doubled Belgium’s lead in the 31st Minute. 

Brazil played catch-up for a majority of the game and the Belgian Red Devils seemed content in dropping deep in defence and only attacking the Brazilians occasionally on the Counter. Brazil’s countless efforts bore fruit in the 76th minute when Philippe Coutinho found Substitute Renato Augusto in the box who headed the ball past Thibaut Courtois to half the deficit. 

Belgium’s Chelsea Duo

Skipper Eden Hazard and keeper Thibaut Courtois were on song against Brazil. Hazard lead from the front, completed 100% of his take-ons (10), won all his aerial duels and had 63 touches. His exceptional close dribbling continuously troubled  Fernandinho and Fagner, Hazard consistently created space for De Bruyne and Lukaku in advanced positions. A performance of the highest order.

Thibaut Courtois made nine saves against Brazil, including a screamer in the 94th minute! Neymar was given space outside the box and took a curling shot that should have found the back of the net, but the Belgian custodian was resolute and tucked the ball away which could very well be the save of the tournament! If Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich’s reading this… Alisson over Courtois? I think you got your answer, Roman.

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne were at their attacking best as well when the Former set up a goal for the latter. Overall it was a great day for the Premier League stars in the Belgian camp!

What went wrong for Brazil?

Hazard consistently performed for Belgium and lead the attack from the front. Neymar who is probably more talented than the Belgian has become a laughing stock and is prime material for meme content. He has no one to blame but himself, he failed his team and his country, instead of making defenders tumble in front of him with his dribbles, Neymar would rather dive at every opportunity. That too with the VAR watching. Shame.

What’s next Belgium?

Roberto Martinez should be mighty proud of his players and Belgium are now the team to beat in the World Cup. Expect big things from Belgium’s golden generation in the coming years. For now, France needs to watch out because this talented team can blow anyone away.