Belgium advance to their second-ever World Cup semi-finals, where France lay in wait after they beat Uruguay 2-0 in the other quarter-final match earlier today. As for Brazil, they are eliminated by a European opponent for the fourth successive World Cup and will have to wait another four years for a chance to earn their sixth World Cup win.
Brazil were thoroughly unimpressive for large parts of the game, with their brilliant attacking names unable to cause Belgium’s back three many problems until late in the game. Renato Augusto’s goal aside, Courtois looked fantastic, denying Willian, Neymar and Roberto Firmino as well as others in the second-half onslaught - ensuring that his team’s lead was not compromised.
After a captivating 90 minutes, it is Belgium who escape the Kazan Arena with a victory after two first-half goals through Fernandinho’s own goal and Kevin De Bruyne sealed the Red Devils’ fate despite Renato Augusto’s goal 15 minutes from time. Roberto Martinez’s side capitalised on a number of set-pieces and counter-attacks, causing all sorts of problems for Brazil’s organization – which significantly impacted their rhythm going forward.
FULL-TIME: BRAZIL 1-2 BELGIUM.
90+5 Mins: Kevin De Bruyne wins a corner-kick and gees up the fans near the right corner-flag. The set-piece is taken short to Hazard to holds up play and keeps the ball away from the closing defenders.
90+4 Mins: THAT IS A MATCH-WINNING SAVE FROM COURTOIS ON NEYMAR! Neymar curls an effort into the top corner as he is inexplicably given space just outside the area, but Courtois gets fingertips to it and pushes it over for a corner which is headed over by Firmino.
90+3 Mins: De Bruyne takes the free-kick with a chip forward to Hazard who is sent tumbling – a fact the referee ignores as he allows Brazil to pick up possession and attack.
90+2 Mins: Brazil send everybody forward as we have played half of the allotted five minutes of added time. Belgium win the ball and send it immediately to Eden Hazard who slows down the play and wins a free-kick in Brazil’s half.
90 Mins: The referee indicates an additional five minutes to be played at the end of the game.
89 Mins: Brazil have had 14 second-half shots while Belgium have had just 1.
88 Mins: Neymar gets into the penalty area on the left but is given no space by Alderweireld who shepherds Neymar out of play. Thibaut Courtois will certainly be in no rush to take this goal-kick, as time is almost up on Brazil.
87 Mins: Youri Tielemans is given a run-out by Roberto Martinez who calls for Romelu Lukaku to come off the field. He has been a wrecking machine today, putting Brazil in all sorts of awkward defensive positions.
85 Mins: Fernandinho is given a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Eden Hazard in midfield. Belgium take a while before restarting play from the set-piece, as they look to kill time and keep the ball away from Brazil.
84 Mins: THAT’S POOR FROM COUTINHO WHO SHOULD HAVE TROUBLED COURTOIS! Neymar gets on the end of Firmino’s pass and takes Meunier completely out of the picture before cutting the ball back for Coutinho. The Barcelona playmaker hits his shot first time and skews it horribly wide of the goal.
83 Mins: Roberto Martinez makes a change as the clock slowly ticks towards full-time. Nacer Chadli is off for Thomas Vermaelen in a very defensive switch.
80 Mins: The Brazil goal has seemingly rejuvenated the crowd who have been sparked into life by Renato Augusto’s header. There are only 10 minutes left for Brazil to find an unlikely equaliser, but it feels as though the tides of the match have turned ever so slightly.
78 Mins: Roberto Firmino receives the ball with his back to goal inside the Belgium penalty area. After a shift of body weight, the Liverpool forward turns and fires, but he sends his effort narrowly over the crossbar.
76 Mins: RENATO AUGUSTO MAKES IT 2-1 AFTER NODDING HOME A COUTINHO CROSS! It’s the substitute who rises highest and gets his head to a sumptuous Phillipe Coutinho cross which beats Courtois who has otherwise looked imperious today. It’s game on with just over 10 minutes to play!
75 Mins: Renato Augusto, in his first contribution of the match, gives possession away to De Bruyne but the Brazil defence quickly close down the creative midfielder and win back the ball with 15 minutes to play.
73 Mins: Brazil’s final substitution is in midfield, with Renato Augusto replacing Paulinho who has wasted a number of chances to score today.
71 Mins: Thomas Meunier is shown a yellow card for a deliberate tug back on the shirt of Neymar who was headed towards goal. The punishment means that Meunier will miss Belgium’s semi-final match, should they progress.
69 Mins: Lukaku gets on the end of a ball from midfield which put the striker in-behind the Brazil defence, but his touch is poor and the ball rolls out for a goal-kick which Alisson takes extremely quickly, as the keeper senses a need for urgency with 20 minutes left.
67 Mins: Belgium have scored 14 goals so far in the 2018 World Cup – at no single tournament in the competition have they scored more ( 12 in 1986).
65 Mins: Lukaku wins a foul just inside his own penalty area after being tugged back by Miranda. Roberto Martinez it looks like has instructed Lukaku to attack from the right-hand side as opposed to directly through the middle, which is causing an almighty mismatch. It was a tactic that worked for the manager and striker together during their time at Everton, and it looks like it is reproducing its original magic as Lukaku is looking increasingly dangerous in all phases of play.
63 Mins: Going the other way Brazil almost break through with a goal after newly introduced substitute Douglas Costa finds his way into the penalty area and takes a quick shot which forces a diving save from Courtois who can only push it into the path of Paulinho. The Barcelona midfielder once again is unable to get the ball out of the air with a volley, and Belgium emerge unscathed.
62 Mins: HAZARD ALMOST MAKES IT 3-0! After a sustained period of Brazilian pressure, Belgium once again break through a counter-attack. De Bruyne looks up and passes to Hazard who takes a few steps before hitting a blistering shot towards goal, which just misses the inside of the far post and goes wide.
60 Mins: Brazil attack through Marcelo who fizzes a cross from the left-hand side across the penalty area. The pass does not reach a striker in the area but instead gets recycled out of the penalty area for Firmino who promptly gets crowded out by two defenders and loses possession.
58 Mins: Gabriel Jesus is removed shortly after that neat nutmeg on Vertonghen, with Douglas Costa on to replace him. It has been a disappointing tournament for Jesus who has not managed to find the back of the net – despite his wonderful club form throughout the season with Manchester City.
55 Mins: Gabriel Jesus makes Vertonghen look like a fool after putting the ball between the legs of the defender in the penalty area. Kompany comes across to make a tackle which sends Jesus to the ground hard. The referee initially did not give the penalty, but he is now consulting with VAR.
53 Mins: Neymar drives and jinks towards goal but gets tripped up in the process. The referee once again is having absolutely none of it, and does not even check with V.A.R. Curiously, however, the match official has failed to produce a card to Neymar for simulation.
52 Mins: Chants of Brazil are reigning down from the stands as Brazil come forward again, looking to halve the deficit. Marcelo flashes it across the face of goal but neither Firmino nor Neymar can get the crucial redirecting touch. It remains 2-0 with just under an hour played.
50 Mins: Marcelo slips the ball into Firmino who turns and fires a shot towards Courtois from close range but the Chelsea shot-stopper is alert and makes the block, keeping the ball in play but away from danger. The Belgium goalie has had a tremendous match so far, providing a solid base for his side to attack.
47 Mins: De Bruyne takes it short to Hazard who gets it to Meunier. The right wing-back recycles the ball into the penalty area for Hazard who loses possession with his back to goal.
47 Mins: Eden Hazard wins an early free-kick in Brazil’s half. Both Hazard and De Bruyne are standing over the ball, which is in a perfect spot for a cross.
46 Mins: Belgium get the second half underway from the kick-off, 45 minutes away from a semi-final matchup with France.
Brazil make a substitution before the start of the second half, with Roberto Firmino replacing Willian in attack.
Roberto Martinez’s side have afforded Brazil a number of shots, but Thibaut Courtois has looked resolute in goal. Neymar and Gabriel Jesus must get themselves involved in the match more, as it seems as though they have been relying on shots from distance from the likes of Coutinho and Marcelo, as well as set-pieces. If they are not organised from corners and free-kicks however, Brazil could be exposed defensively again.
This anticipated meeting has certainly lived up to expectations in the first half. Both sides had a number of chances to score but it is Belgium who lead Brazil 2-0. The South Americans had a number of chances from set-pieces early on in the match, with Miranda’s near-post touches causing all sorts of trouble. However, it was from the dead-ball that Brazil would concede both their goals – the first a Fernandinho own goal, and the second from a counter-attack after a Brazil corner.
45+1 Mins: HALF TIME: BRAZIL 0-2 BELGIUM.
45 Mins: Neymar goes down in the penalty area but the referee refuses to indulge the Brazil forward and allows play to continue – a good decision from the match official.
44 Mins: Brazil are holding onto the ball on the outside of the Belgium penalty area. With a minute to go before the end of regulation in the first half, it does not look like Brazil will manage a goal to buoy their spirits.
42 Mins: Chadli takes the corner and Kompany gets an incredible near-post touch with the outside of his right foot while facing away from goal. Alisson gets down quickly to make the save but it was an absolutely brilliant bit of technique from the centre-back.
40 Mins: Kevin De Bruyne is taken down from behind and he wins his side a free-kick just on the outside of the penalty area.De Bruyne takes and forces a fantastic jumping save from Alisson who tips it over for a corner.
39 Mins: Willian’s take is not a good one and it once again leads to a Belgium counter-attack, this time led by Eden Hazard. There are five Belgium players lining up at the edge of the area looking to take a shot at Alisson, but the defence manages to organise themselves in time to cut down the angle and force Martinez’s side to hold onto possession.
37 Mins: If the Japan match proved anything, it is that Belgium are absolutely lethal on counter-attacks. It seems Brazil have not heeded that warning, and they were absolutely cut apart by Lukaku who – despite all his quality – is not the paciest of players. Tite’s side need a goal to provide hope, and fast!
35 Mins: If the Japan match proved anything, it is that Belgium are absolutely lethal on counter-attacks. It seems Brazil have not heeded that warning, and they were absolutely cut apart by Lukaku who – despite all his quality – is not the paciest of players. Tite’s side need a goal to provide hope, and fast!
33 Mins: The only previous occasion these sides met in a World Cup was in the round of 16 in 2002, with Brazil winning 2-0 en route to winning the entire competition.
31 Mins: AND BELGIUM SCORE FROM THE COUNTER-ATTACK WITH KEVIN DE BRUYNE! 2-0 BELGIUM! Fellaini heads the ball away to Lukaku who charges all the way through midfield, dancing past a couple of markers. The Manchester United striker then locates Kevin De Bruyne perfectly just outside the area, and the midfielder takes an absolutely superb shot which beats Alisson! Belgium double their lead!
31 Mins: Neymar takes the in-swinger again to the near post for Miranda but Fellaini is smart to the tactic and gets himself there to head the ball away.
30 Mins: Willian finds Fernandinho on the edge of the area and he has a strike into the crowd which does not seep through the traffic. The ball comes to Neymar who has a crack of his own and wins a corner after the effort is deflected away from goal.
29 Mins: Vertonghen gives away a free-kick by the corner flag after going in with a hard challenge on Paulinho who was shepherding the ball out for a corner-kick. It will be Willian to take…
28 Mins: While Brazil attack, Neymar is off on the sideline receiving what looks to be spray on the back of his left leg. He has not looked hampered by injury so far in this match, but it is something Tite will have to keep an eye on.
26 Mins: Marcelo attempts to dance his way past Fellaini and instead settles for opening up enough room to have a strike at Courtois who parries the shot smartly away from danger and towards his full-back who keeps possession.
23 Mins: De Bruyne’s service is poor considering his undoubted quality, but Belgium regain possession and look to start play again from Courtois.
23 Mins: Belgium are really stretching Brazil who are piling forward in attack. Lukaku dances around Miranda in the penalty area but thankfully for him, Thiago Silva comes across to clear the ball away for a corner. Brazil look like conceding again here.
21 Mins: Belgium come forward again with Eden Hazard who sends Meunier forward into the penalty area with a through ball. The right full-back centres it for Lukaku but a Brazil defender cuts across to clear away the danger.
19 Mins: Neymar loses possession to his club team-mate Meunier but the Selecao quickly win it back on the left flank. Coutinho picks up the ball and charges towards goal before firing a powerful strike, but one that Courtois catches after going down on one knee.
17 Mins: Early on it looked as though Belgium would concede from a set-piece, as Miranda twice put the ball in a great position from a near-post flick. However it is Brazil who concede from a similar tactic and allow a goal for the first time since their opening match of the tournament.
15 Mins: Brazil turn around and press forward immediately looking for the equaliser. This is the first time Brazil have been behind in the tournament, so they will need to dig deep in order to avoid conceding further.
13 Mins: BELGIUM CAPITALISE FROM THE SET-PIECE TO MAKE IT 1-0 AS MIRANDA TURNS IT IN HIS OWN NET! Vincent Kompany gets his head onto the corner at the near post and it takes a touch off what looks to be Miranda’s elbow and beats Alisson! Belgium have the lead!
12 Mins: De Bruyne finds Fellaini just outside the penalty area with a large amount of space, but the Manchester United midfielder is unable to get the ball out of his feet, and he scuffs his shot which wins a corner.
11 Mins: Willian’s corner is a great delivery but Paulinho mishits the service from the centre of the penalty area after yet another Miranda near-post flick.
10 Mins: Neymar links up with Coutinho on the outside of the penalty area but Coutinho is unable to free some space for his trademark curling effort. Brazil recycle it into the box but Paulinho can only win a corner after wriggling free from three defenders.
8 Mins: Neymar swings a corner-kick into the penalty area and, after a Miranda touch at the near post, Thiago Silva gets a tap on the ball but the PSG defender can only put his weak effort from close range against the post! Brazil have the first real scoring opportunity of the match.
6 Mins: Fellaini drags Neymar down from behind in the centre-circle and gets in the face of the referee who immediately calls for a free-kick. The Belgium central midfielder escapes without a card, but the referee will surely make a mental note of his early aggression.
3 Mins: Neymar feathers a cross into the penalty area for Gabriel Jesus, but Courtois is there first – and with a considerable height advantage.
2 Mins: Brazil are looking to get a foothold in the match as they cycle it from right-to-left and back again in the defence. Belgium’s early pressure pays as Willian turns over possession. Alderweireld sends a ball over the top for Lukaku but it goes too far and it will be an Alisson goal-kick.
1 Mins: Brazil get the quarter-final underway at the Kazan Arena! It should be a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes of football!
Captains Miranda and Eden Hazard lead their sides out of the tunnel and onto the Kazan pitch for the national anthems, with kick-off to follow shortly!
Roberto Martinez makes two changes from the side that started their exciting last-16 match with Japan which Belgium won 3-2. Nacer Chadli earns his place in the starting XI after scoring the winning goal, replacing Yannick Carrasco. In central midfield, Marouane Fellaini will play alongside Axel Witsel, with Kevin De Bruyne moving further up the pitch to support Romelu Lukaku. To make this tactical adjustment, Roberto Martinez has decided to sacrifice Dries Mertens, who will start the match from the bench.
Tite will be without three key players today as Douglas Costa’s hamstring and Danilo’s ankle have not healed in time – keeping them out of the tie. The other absentee for is Casemiro who is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards. In response, Tite makes two changes from the side that beat Mexico 2-0 in the last-16. Marcelo is fully healthy and ready to reprise his role at left-back, replacing Felipe Luis. In central midfield, Manchester City’s Fernandinho is the holding player who will maintain the balance and tempo instead of Casemiro.
Belgium substitutes: Dedryck Boyata, Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels, Leander Dendoncker, Thorgan Hazard, Youri Tielemans, Adnan Januzaj, Yannick Carrasco, Mousa Dembele, Thomas Vermaelen.
Belgium Starting XI (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld; Nacer Chadli, Marouane Fellaini, Axel Witsel, Thomas Meunier; Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne; Romelu Lukaku.
Brazil substitutes: Geromel, Filipe Luis, Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto, Marquinhos, Cassio, Fred, Roberto Firmino, Taison, Ederson.
Brazil Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho, Fernandinho, Coutinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.
15 Mins to KO: With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, it’s about time we take a look at how the two sides will line up today! Let’s start with Brazil!
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium have approached the tournament in polar-opposite fashion, with Thibaut Courtois allowing four goals in four matches. The Red Devils, however, are more than capable of unlocking a defence, having found the back of the net 12 times so far with eight different goal-scorers. This Belgium side is packed with attacking talent, and they have the ability to punish lazy defending from anywhere on the field.
This World Cup for Brazil has been founded on defensive stability. After conceding in their opening match of the World Cup in a 1-1 draw with Switzerland, Brazil have gone four matches without being compromised at the back, outscoring their opponents 6-0 in three matches since.
Tite’s squad emerged from a difficult group in pole position, topping: Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia. The Selecao then passed a stern test of will by beating Mexico 2-0 in their last-16 tie to set up a date with Belgium. While Neymar’s antics have been stealing the headlines, it should not be forgotten that the PSG forward has directly contributed to three of Brazil’s seven goals in Russia whilst receiving incredibly tight marking from opposition defenders.
After finishing first above England, Tunisia and Panama, Roberto Martinez’s team mounted an extraordinary comeback to progress to this stage - beating Japan 3-2 after falling two goals behind. Late heroics from Nacer Chadli ensured the Red Devils’ passage to their second quarter-finals appearance in a row, after having previously failed to get to that stage of the tournament since 1986.
The 58th match of the World Cup is slated to be one of the most enticing fixtures so far – as 5-time champions Brazil clashing with Belgium’s golden generation. Both of these sides are on tremendous winning runs pre-dating the tournament, with the Selecao going 15 matches unbeaten in all competitions; a number that, while impressive, pales in comparison to Belgium’s 23 without loss.
30 Mins to KO: Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium in Russia.
|Game||Brazil vs Belgium|
|Date||Friday, July 6|
|Time||7pm BST / 2pm ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
Brazil have made two changes from their win over Mexico in the last 16.
Marcelo is fit to return to the starting XI having missed the 2-0 win in Saara, and comes straight back in for Filipe Luis. His Real Madrid team-mate Casemiro, however, is suspended and is replaced by Manchester City's Fernandinho in midfield.
Perhaps the biggest news, however, is that Gabriel Jesus retains his place in the attack.
Belgium have handed starts to last-16 substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, who both played a key role in the turnaround success against Japan, in which they had trailed 2-0.
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Dries Mertens are the two players to miss out.
Brazil XI: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho, Fernandinho, Coutinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar.
Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, Fellaini, Witsel, Chadli; De Bruyne, Hazard; R Lukaku.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FOX / Telemundo||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on ITV or streamed live online using the ITV Player.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|