Brazil's World Cup misery continues at the hands of Belgium

Belgium celebrate against Japan

Belgium celebrate against Japan

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.

Romelu Lukaku surged forward with the ball and Kevin De Bruyne put it in the net to give Belgium a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute.

"Brazil adapted better in the second half".

And it was Belgium that took an early lead in the 13th minute when Vincent Kompany redirected a Chadli corner kick on frame that bounced off Fernandinho's arm and into the net for an own goal, the 11th so far at this World Cup.

The Selecao's quarter-final exit at the hands of Belgium in the last of the six matches in the city on Saturday (AEST) ensured this would be the first World Cup without at least one of Brazil, Argentina or Germany in the semi-finals.

"Providing assists is also important, and this year I have provided more than ever".

With those three teams - three of the game's big powers, and three popular picks to win the World Cup before the start of the tournament - out, the road to World Cup glory and soccer immortality feels wide open for the remaining teams. Whether it's a match, a team or a player, the right statistic can occasionally tell you all you need to know.

The 33-year-old had already been severely criticized four years ago, when he was hauled off at half-time on Brazil's way to a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

"We're sad because we wanted to win badly, like all Brazil".

"I helped Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne and explained to them how they should stand and what to do, explaining once was enough, we did the job perfectly, we won deservedly".

The star forward now sitting in no man's land - demanding a trade from the Spurs while locked into his contract for at least one more season (he can opt out after the 2018-19 season) - started physically distancing himself from the team much earlier this year.

The Brazilians finally got some reward for their efforts with Augusto's header and Belgium needed a brilliant fingertip Courtois save to deny Neymar in the last seconds to secure a date with neighbours France in St Petersburg in the last-four stage. "Today I proved again who I am and why I am here".

The Red Devils were everywhere on the pitch in the first half and as the scoreline suggested, they were the better side but tide of the game shifted radically in the second half.

His fitness issue threatened to derail his hopes of playing at the World Cup but although he recovered to start all five of Tite's Brazil's games, he was below his usual level.

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