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Belgium's road to the semis: Will the dream continue?

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
502   //    10 Jul 2018, 20:04 IST

Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Can Belgium go all the way?

The Red Devils have neither lost nor drawn a game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far and have performed out of their skins to equal if not outperform their best finish at a world cup (4th place at the 1986 FIFA World Cup)

The Group Stage

Belgium's deadly attack was on show right from the beginning of their World Cup campaign this year. In their first match, they humbled Panama 3-0 with the Manchester United striker, Romelu Lukaku netting twice and Mertens scoring with a beautiful volley.

Their next match with Tunisia went pretty much on the same lines. They won by a 3 goal margin with the final scoreline being 5-2 in favour of the Belgians. With both Hazard and Lukaku scoring twice.

With their qualification to the next round ensured, Belgium decided to give game time to their bench players and still came up victorious against England courtesy a single strike from the Real Sociedad winger Adnan Januzaj. Their victory over England meant that they qualified top of the group three points above England.

Round of 16

Football: Japan vs Belgium at World Cup
Football: Japan vs Belgium at World Cup

Belgium faced Japan in their Round of 16 clash. A match-up that was expected to be a straightforward one for Belgium who had dominated their oppositions until then.

However, things turn out as expected as Japan took a two-goal lead within a few minutes of halftime. The Belgians did not give up and managed to equalise with two headers from Vertonghen and Fellaini.

The final glory came from a Kevin De Bruyne led counter-attack which ended with Nacer Chadli scoring the decider late into the injury time with less than 30 seconds remaining on the clock. Final Scoreline: Belgium 3 - 2 Japan.

Thus, they booked a spot in the quarters with tournament favourites, Brazil.

Quarterfinals

Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Everybody knew that Belgium would pose a threat. Very few thought that they would go on to eliminate Brazil to give us the first World Cup without Germany, Argentina or Brazil in the final four.

They had their share of luck with Fernandinho's inadvertent elbow guiding the ball into the Brazilian net for an own goal but they defended with all they had and the second strike from Kevin De Bruyne ensured their advance even after Renato Augusto brought down the deficit near the 80-minute mark. Final Scoreline: Belgium 2 - 1 Brazil.

Thus, with yet another upset in this world cup, the brave Belgians with lightning fast attackers in the form of De Bruyne, Lukaku and Hazard advanced into the semifinals.

Semifinals

2018 FIFA World Cup: fans ahead of semifinal match France vs Belgium
2018 FIFA World Cup: fans ahead of semifinal match France vs Belgium

When France and Belgium clash tonight for a place in the final, it is bound to be an exciting affair as both teams have extremely fast players that can make use of any opportunity that they get on the counter.

However, with Hazard's skills, Lukaku's strength and De Bruyne's class, Belgium will be looking forward to overcoming the French challenge and book their place in the finals of the FIFA world cup for the first time.

Score Prediction

Belgium 2 - 0 France.

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