World Cup 2018: Coach Martinez ‘couldn’t be prouder’ as Belgium stun Brazil

first_imgYet another tournament-favourite crashed out of the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Friday night as Belgium stunned Brazil with a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals in Kazan.This edition of the World Cup has seen almost all the big names bow out early in the competition with three big teams getting knocked out in the city of Kazan. Brazil on Friday joined Argentina and Germany in the list of teams that played its final match at the Kazan Arena.A Fernandinho own goal and a brilliant Kevin De Bruyne strike gave Belgium a spot in the last four for the second time after 1986 and sent Brazil home at the quarter-final stage for the third time in the last four World Cups.Belgium also used intelligence to break up Brazil’s momentum as they kept possession in midfield, frustrating them and forcing them into giving away free kicks which cost the South Americans precious seconds.Dejected Brazil coach Tite finds World Cup 2018 exit ‘very hard to accept’Eden Hazard played a key role as he forced Fernandinho into a tackle which cost him a yellow card, then drew a foul from Miranda which he celebrated as if he had scored a goal.Belgium also enjoyed some luck. They escaped a couple of possible penalties which other referees might have given and an early Thiago Silva shot against the post which might have changed the course of the game completely.World Cup 2018: Belgium showed their worth to the world, says De BruyneWhen all else failed, there was Thibaut Courtois who made several outstanding saves including one in the fourth minute of stoppage time to turn away a Neymar shot that was heading for the top corner.advertisementQuarter-final 2: Belgium knock Brazil out”You need to get a tactical advantage when you play Brazil,” said Martinez. “The execution of the tactics was magnificent. In two days they (Belgium’s players) changed their tactical disposition. I couldn’t be prouder.”2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEThe defeat was Tite’s first in a competitive match since he took over in mid-2016 and only his second defeat overall. It was also the first time his side had allowed two goals in a game after conceding only six in their previous 25 matches.The 57-year-old though, made no excuses, even as he said luck was not on Brazil’s side.France and Belgium in historic World Cup semi-final: Stats and facts”Football has a randomness but I don’t like to talk about luck,” he said. “When it is on our side it is a polite way of putting down the opponent. So I don’t believe in luck. Was Courtois lucky? No, he was great. It hit the woodwork, what can you do. Belgium were competent and effective.”Randomness, accidents, they happen. And today they happened. It hurts to say that. That is not to undermine Belgium, who are a great team. But chance was cruel to us. It was so hard and it is very hard to accept.”Brazil were the dominant team for much of the game, and especially in the second half when substitutes Douglas Costa and Renato Augusto ran at the Belgium defence.Tite, though, praised their opponents – who had eight shots at goal to Brazil’s 26 – for their superior finishing.”We had the upper hand for two-thirds of the game, a very high quality game,” he said. “Belgium turned their chances into goals. It’s very difficult to say this but it was a great game. Two very impressive teams technically.””With all this pain that I am feeling, this bitterness, it is difficult to talk, but those who like football took great pleasure in watching this game. What a game it was,” he concluded.Belgium will now face France in the semi-finals at St Petersburg on July 10.last_img

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