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De Bruyne: How we beat Brazil

08 July 2018

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.

And De Bruyne feels Brazil's inability to properly adapt to Belgium's tactics ultimately cost them.

Belgium stunned Brazil 2-0 in a highly entertaining FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash in Kazan on Friday.

Belgian soccer fans celebrate after the Belgium's goal as they watch the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final match between Brazil and Belgium, in Woluwe, Brussels, on July 6, 2018.

Such a record is nothing new for Brazil, with their defence having always been one of their keys to success at World Cups.

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That is the most by any player in a World Cup since 1966 and illustrates just how incisive he was against Tite's team. Like their compatriots, the players who make up the Red Devils squad at Russian Federation 2018 also like to get around.

"Not for one minute they weren't going to give up".

Brazil, ranked second in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association, were the last remaining non-European team in the tournament after Les Bleus knocked out Uruguay in Friday's first quarter-final.

Romelu Lukaku took the ball with his back to goal, turned into space and stormed up the pitch past Fernandinho before releasing De Bruyne on his right for the playmaker to rifle the ball into the net from the edge of the box. "We can pass that down the generations - beating Brazil".

Coming into the match, Martinez acknowledged the gulf in World Cup pedigree between his side, who have never been further than the semi-finals, and their illustrious rivals.

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Brazil dominated possession and carved out chance after chance, but could not score until substitute Renato Augusto headed home Philippe Coutinho's cross 14 minutes from regulation time.

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.

Referee Mazic waved away Neymar's penalty appeals at the end of the first half, with the official unimpressed again as the Paris Saint-Germain star went to ground after the restart.

The only man standing tall, and arguably the one who made the difference in the match, was Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. "We played a ideal first half".

This is a story not just about Number 10s but about Brazil's Number 12 - their fans in the stands.

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De Bruyne: How we beat Brazil