Goodbye, South America.
Belgium knocked off World Cup favorite Brazil 2-1 on Friday in the quarterfinals, moving on to the semifinals to face France. Kevin De Bruyne’s winner sets up what is guaranteed to be an all-European semifinal on both sides of the bracket.
Belgium took a commanding 2-0 lead in the first half, looking sharp in the middle in the process, and Roberto Martinez’s team was able to hold on late as Brazil looked likely to follow up its first goal in the match with an equalizer. An inspired, world-class Thibaut Courtois made numerous key saves, including one in the 94th minute to keep Neymar out.
The victory means Belgium will play in the semifinals for the second time in history and the first time since 1986.
Though Brazil started well on the ball, Belgium’s poise and confidence shined through. The team was organized and able to keep the ball away from Brazil quite a bit before the opener. On 13 minutes, Vincent Kompany went near post for a header that hit off Fernadinho and went into the goal for the 1-0 lead: