• ​Belgium held firm to beat Brazil 2-1
  • Red Devils showed their mental strength
  • Their next date with destiny comes against France
By Simon Massart with Belgium

Aware that they were not going to beat Brazil in a beautiful football contest, Belgium found another way to shine when the two sides met in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ in Kazan on Friday. Sitting deep on coach Roberto Martinez’s instructions, they invited the five-time world champions on and then countered at every opportunity, using the wide open spaces to show their considerable talents.

After falling behind to Fernandinho’s own goal 13 minutes in, A Seleção were caught cold by Belgium’s precise planning. “We had a gameplan and we executed it to perfection,” Romelu Lukaku told FIFA.com afterwards.

“I told my team-mates just before the game not to be scared because we had the game to beat Brazil, so long as we thought as a team,” added the striker, whose penetrating 40-yard run and lay-off set Kevin de Bruyne up for Belgium’s second goal of the night. It was a passage of play that encapsulated the striker’s words, as he swapped roles with his countryman, switching from hitman to provider.

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