After a thrilling 95 minutes of Friday World Cup football, Belgium are through to the semi-final stage of the tournament.
Roberto Martinez’s men will now look ahead to their match against 1998 winners France, having beat five-time holders Brazil at the Kazan Arena to inch one step closer to the most important piece of silverware in all of sport.
The Selecao, meanwhile, have failed to exorcise the demons of 2014, falling short again in their attempts to reclaim their status as football’s greatest with this latest loss. They are now forced to wait until 2022 for another opportunity.
Pogba vs Lukaku.
Lloris vs Alderweireld & Big Jan.
Kante vs Hazard.
France vs Henry.
Bad coach vs Bad coach.
It’s on.#FRA vs #BEL#WorldCup
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) July 6, 2018
The match was entertaining from the very start, with the best of the scoring chances falling to Tite’s side. However, the South American nation shot themselves in the foot by scoring an own goal through Manchester City defender Fernandinho off of a corner on minute 13.
Golden Boot race at the 2018 #WorldCup
Own Goal: 11 goals
Kane: 6 goals
Ronaldo: 4 goals
Lukaku: 4 goals
Cavani: 3 goals
Cheryshev: 3 goals
Costa: 3 goals
Dzyuba: 3 goals
Griezmann: 3 goals
Mbappe: 3 goals
Mina: 3 goals
— 9GAG Football ⚽ (@9GAGFootball) July 6, 2018
Brazil have just scored…hang on…
The 1,537th own goal of the 2018 #WorldCup!
— 90min (@90min_Football) July 6, 2018
Fernandinho, his first start in the World Cup 2018 replacing Casemiro due to suspension. In 35 minutes so far he scored an own goal and then a truly pathetic effort at tackling Lukaku on the half way line in the build up to the second. Such is nightmare.
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) July 6, 2018
Kompany to Jesus to Fernandinho. Is this the most @ManCity World Cup own goal of all time
— Walter Smith (@mancitysmith) July 6, 2018
His club teammate would double the Red Devils’ lead in the 31st minute with an exquisite shot from outside of the box following a quick counter inclusive of a wonderful run and an incisive pass from Romelu Lukaku.
Substitute Renato Augusto pulled one back for the Brazilians with 14 minutes of extra time remaining, heading past the otherwise brilliant Thibaut Courtois after getting on the end of Coutinho’s cross.
But that would be all for the 2002 champions as Courtois would pull another worldie of a save in stoppage time to keep his side ahead.
The Belgians will now look to pull off the impossible and win their first-ever World Cup to join the eight nations who have won the competition since its inception in 1930.
As you’ve already seen above, the match absolutely set Twitter alight. But below are a few more of the best tweets stemming from the night’s action:
When Belgium ran out of gas late on and Brazil rallied, it was Hazard taking pressure off his defence. The way he rode the challenges, then drew fouls because opponents couldn’t get the ball – you can’t ask for much more to close a game out. #BRABEL
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) July 6, 2018
Brazil can samba at the airport now
— José (@MourinhoMindset) July 6, 2018
Even if you put your hands on both our knees, cross your fingers and toes 爛 I still can’t see you beating Brazil Roberto 藍藍 pic.twitter.com/OwVP6UbmGb
— Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy) July 6, 2018
Neymar doesn’t deserve to win the #WorldCup
As good as he is, his behaviour has been dreadful.
And until he grows up he won’t ever deserve it.#BRA #BEL
— Jamie Spencer (@jamiespencer155) July 6, 2018
Saturday is also poised to throw up some mouthwatering action, with England set to take on Sweden in the day’s early match and host nation Russia going up against Croatia later on.