Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku hailed as Belgium beat Brazil

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"Scoring against Brazil is not the best moment of my career". Brazil midfielder Fernandinho's trailing right arm inadvertently helped Belgium captain Vincent Kompany's header land in his own net in the 13th minute.

Four years ago, after Belgium had just eliminated the United States in the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, finally getting its goals in extra time, manager Marc Wilmots couldn't hide his contentment.

Neymar had a chance to equalise late in injury time but Thibaut Courtois produced a magnificent save to tip over the goalbound curling effort.

Belgium produced a stunning performance to claim a place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over five-times champions Brazil in Kazan.

Impressive Belgium will now face France, 2-0 winners over Uruguay earlier on Friday, in a semi-final in St Petersburg next Tuesday.

"I won't say goodbye, but I also won't confirm that I'll be there for the next World Cup".

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It was a Neymar-Hazard clash, two players with similar playing quality of skill, speed and dexterity but on the night it was the Belgian man who showed objective, led with example, whilst the other in yellow, looked out of sorts, tried on many occasions to win an underserving sympathy, penalty from the referee. Like their compatriots, the players who make up the Red Devils squad at Russian Federation 2018 also like to get around.

It was the fourth successive World Cup that Brazil's involvement was ended by a European side, four years after a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals. "I don't think he's jumping for joy that LeBron James is in LA with the Lakers", he said.

England or Sweden will play the victor of Saturday's other quarter-final, in which host nation Russian Federation will aim to keep defying the odds when they play Luka Modric's skilful Croatia side.

Brazil had conceded just one goal in their past four games in Russian Federation but were behind early when Nacer Chadli's corner struck Fernandinho's arm and flew into the net, the 10th own goal of this World Cup.

But Brazil needed to be better, too, as Augusto and Philippe Coutinho both failed to put golden chances on target with the clock ticking toward full time. The Barça man's brilliant pass over the top of the Belgian defence was headed past Courtois by his teammate.

De Bruyne advanced on the exposed Marcelo and arrowed a wonderful drive across Alisson from the edge of the penalty area after Lukaku collected the ball, turned and embarked on a 40-yard rampaging run with a flawless pass at the end to free the playmaker. He is more concerned about being on the floor.

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