Belgium knock out Brazil with stunning football World Cup win

World Cup QF: Both Brazil, Belgium battling bad vibes

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku has leapt to the defence of quarter-final opponent Neymar, insisting the Brazilian is "not an actor" despite widespread criticism from World Cup observers.

It was a spirited display from Brazil, which managed to pull a goal back after going 2-0 down in the first half, and almost equalized in the dying moments when Neymar forced a fingertip save from Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Augusto, who went on three minutes earlier as a replacement for Paulinho, connected with a cross from Philippe Coutinho and headed the ball into the net to beat 'keeper Thibaut Courtois in the 76th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne delivered the corner that led to the own goal and scored the second himself, yet the Belgium playmaker also impressed with his energy and defensive efforts.

That freed De Bruyne to play in a more advanced role and the City midfielder revelled in the space Brazil continually gave him.

Humiliated, 7-1, by Germany in the semifinals fours year ago on home soil, Brazil didn't even get that far this time.

Belgium will next face France in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday as they look to reach the final for the first time in their history.

We're about to learn the true value of Belgium's so-called "golden generation".

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Brazil missed glorious goalscoring opportunities to draw level, including a criminal miss by Coutinho and when Courtois pulled a superb injury-time save from a goal bound Neymar strike victory was sealed in a special way. We knew they created a lot of chances, but we took the risk by playing with two players high.

They paid an immediate price when Fernandinho nodded Eden Hazard's corner into his own net unpressured after 13 minutes.

The 1-0 scoreline didn't last long, as Belgium doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark.

Now we are down to the last eight teams, what's shaping up to be one of the most memorable World Cups in recent memory is very much at the business end.

Hazard, for his part, captained Belgium as they overturned a 2-0 deficit against Japan, assisting the equalising goal.

"The greatest challenge of a World Cup is having mental fortitude".

With Casemiro, things might have been different, but manager Tite should have known better and gone with Augusto from the start.

However, the Brazil coach has confirmed that in addition to Jesus, Fernandinho will start for the first time at the World Cup when Brazil meet Belgium in tomorrow's quarter-final clash.

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