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Belgium ended Brazil's dream of a sixth World Cup title when they beat the South Americans 2-1 in a dramatic, enthralling end-to-end quarter-final on Friday to earn a semi-final tie against France.

A Fernandinho own goal and a perfectly executed finish from Kevin De Bruyne gave Belgium a 2-0 lead over Brazil at halftime in the World Cup quarterfinal match at Kazan.

Kevin De Bruyne scored Belgium's second goal against Brazil.

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.

Up next for Roberto Martinez's side will be a highly anticipated semifinal matchup with their southern neighbors, France, the last remaining pre-tournament favorite still breathing. It's more competitive, as we're seeing at this World Cup, and we have to do our bit.

"Brazil have so much finesse and you know that they can cut you open". One slalom through Brazil's midfield, around the 18th minute, had the grace and smoothness of a champion skier as he dodged tackles and still kept the ball, as though glued to his right foot, at high speed.

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.

"I'm so disappointed. It was not the football we were expecting from Brazil, there was a lack of football".

Manager Martinez made a decision to start with Marouane
Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, the midfielders who transformed the game as substitutes in the last-16 fightback against Japan.

"They have a lot of top players and finished well".

Neymar continued to run at the Belgium defence until the end but had a second penalty appeal waved away by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic and a final shot tipped over the bar by Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as the last few seconds ticked away. Against Brazil, again it was Lukaku's link-up play that proved decisive as he powered past Fernandinho and Paulinho on a rapid counter-attack before feeding De Bruyne to smash home from the edge of the area.

"Now we need more energy for the next game, " Martinez said, "so let's make sure that we're all together and we're all driving each other to be as good as we can.in the semifinal".

Especially after Brazil conceded only one goal in the previous four games in Russian Federation.

The Manchester City man said: "We have achieved something that is really lovely and not easy".


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