Belgium knocks Brazil out of the World Cup

Neymar sinks to the turf after defeat saw Brazil crash out of the World Cup in Kazan CREDIT: REUTERS

There will be no sixth World Cup crown for Brazil. The pre-tournament favourites have been knocked out in the quarter-finals following a 2-1 defeat to an impressive Belgium side, who dominated the first half and then clung on in the closing stages with Brazil pressing for an equalisier.

Group G winners Belgium will now face France having staged a miraculous comeback in the last 16 against Japan before preventing another from their opponents in the quarter-finals.

There was a touch of fortune to Belgium’s opener, a corner which glanced first off Miranda and then Fernandinho’s arm into the back of the net. Kevin Bruyne’s excellent finish to a lightning-quick counter-attack then doubled their tally, with Brazil scrambling at 2-0 down.

Tite’s substitutions had a positive effect with Douglas Costa and Renato Augusto, who pulled one back, adding real impetus. But Belgium were unbowed, with two desperate penalty attempts from a diving Neymar waved away and numerous Brazilian shots blocked and cleared to send Belgium through.