Roberto Martinez proud of Belgium World Cup 'heroes'
Roberto Martinez proud of Belgium World Cup 'heroes'
Brazil's Willian in a past press conference before World Cup game
08 July, 2018, 23:10
Belgium reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years, holding off five-time champion Brazil 2-1 Friday (Saturday NZT) in one of the country's greatest football feats.
If Belgium " s first goal in the 13th minute had an element of luck - the ball going into the net off Fernandinho's shoulder from a corner - the second in the 31st minute was a shining example of counter-attacking football. Brazil's second-half fightback came after sustained cheering and chanting by their sizeable fan contingent at Kazan Arena.
But as Belgian legs exhausted, Brazil spurned several great chances to push the match into extra-time, Augusto drilling inches wide and Coutinho skewing his effort off target from Neymar's pass. Last Thursday they met up with some English club colleagues, and on Friday they will be coming across some familiar Brazilian faces, with a semi-final place at stake no less. For the first time in this summer's World Cup, the Samba Boys were behind.
That is the most by any player in a World Cup since 1966 and illustrates just how incisive he was against Tite's team. He announced that the pressure would be on Brazil and Belgium would have to play as a tight-knit collective to stand a chance. At one point, while recovering from a lingering quadriceps injury over the All-Star break with personal trainers in New York, Leonard ran away from members of the Spurs front office who had hoped to check in on him, according to a reporter with inside knowledge.
"I'm the proudest man on earth because I gave the players a very tough tactical assignment and the way they believed until the last second was incredible", he said.
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Currently, N'zonzi is in Russian Federation , representing France as they face Belgium in the semi-finals. Arsenal are reportedly in talks to sign Steven N'Zonzi , but Tottenham Hotspur should enter the race.
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Supporters of Russian Federation celebrate on the Red Square after their team's victory in the FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16. However, all vividly remembered the confrontation between Brazil and Mexico, where the first won a victory with the score 2:0.
For Brazil, meanwhile, this loss will really sting, given they probably deserved to win the match on balance, edging out Belgium in terms of possession and the number of shots on target, with nine to Belgium's three, according to FIFA's match statistics.
Neymar's bad luck with World Cup quarters continued today with defeat by Belgium; he huffed and puffed, he even rolled over a couple of times but he could not blow down the Belgian defence and he couldn't beat Thibaut Courtois.
"I know it's not easy to play against Brazil", midfielder De Bruyne added. He is more concerned about being on the floor.
But Belgium held on and the much-maligned Roberto Martinez will lead his side into a World Cup semi-final against France on Tuesday.
Although Brazil fought their way back into the match thanks to Renato Augusto's 76th minute header, they paid the price for missing late chances.
Former England captain Wayne Rooney believes the country is right to start "dreaming" of winning the World Cup this year. The thing that impressed me most about England against Colombia was the way they stood up to the provocation they faced.
Last year's runner-up, Marin Cilic , also advanced easily with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka . According to reports on US sports site ESPN , Uniqlo initially offered Federer $US21 million to wear its gear.
A low-quality match featured some of the worst finishing seen so far at the World Cup , and two efforts stood out. Svensson may return to the bench for the quarterfinal as Sebastian Larsson will be returning from suspension.
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He's a racer, he understands racing commitment and spirit and I think he's going to be a good leader for the future at McLaren". There was trouble for another French driver as Pierre Gasly stopped with more than half an hour of the session remaining.
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