It’s a World Cup, but it looks like a European Championship by now. Belgium eliminated the last representative from South America last night, beating Brazil 2-1 in Kazan. The Belgians benefited from an own goal by Fernandinho, and doubled their lead with Kevin De Bruyne, before Renato Augusto could vainly reduce the gap for the Selecao.
Overconfidence could have costed much to Belgium, which snatched a last-minute 3-2 win over Japan in a wonderful Round of 16 game played in Rostov. The Belgians had to receive two violent slaps from the Samurais that really put them with their back against the wall, before they would stop contemplating themselves, and work out a plan to win their game.
A beautiful goal to England by lost talent Adnan Januzaj secured Belgium’s first place in World Cup Group H, in a match where both coaches Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez seemed more willing to preserve their top players, than go for the win – as qualifying from the second spot of the pool meant gaining access to an easier part of the knock-out phase bracket.