July 6, 2018 4:17 pm
Updated: July 6, 2018 5:25 pm

Belgium dumps Brazil out of World Cup, set up semi-final clash with France

WATCH ABOVE: Tears and cheers as Brazil loses to Belgium in World Cup quarter-final

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Belgium ended Brazil‘s dream of a sixth World Cup title when they beat the South Americans 2-1 in a dramatic, enthralling end-to-end quarter-final on Friday to earn a semi-final tie against France.

Brazil dominated the opening stages, with Thiago Silva hitting the post, but went behind when midfielder Fernandinho put the ball into his own net from a corner in the 13th minute.

READ MORE: Here’s your complete FIFA World Cup quarter-final guide

Belgium took advantage of some wide open spaces in the Brazil defence when Romelu Lukaku found an unmarked Kevin de Bruyne who fired home their second goal in the 31st.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saves from Brazil’s Neymar during the quarterfinal match between Brazil and Belgium at the 2018 World Cup in the Kazan Arena, in Kazan, Russia, July 6, 2018.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Brazil threw everything at Belgium in the second half and finally found a way past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a Renato Augusto header in the 76th minute. But despite laying siege to the Belgian goal, they could not find an equaliser.

WATCH: Neymar’s antics on the pitch

Earlier Friday, Raphael Varane’s glancing header and a goalkeeping blunder that gifted Antoine Griezmann a soft goal gave France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the first quarter-final.

WATCH: Belgium youth soccer camp practices their best Neymar dive

Varane’s 40th-minute header from a Griezmann free kick was only the second goal Uruguay had conceded all tournament. The South Americans went close to equalising just before the break only for Martin Caceres’s goal-bound header to be brilliantly turned onto a post by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

France’s Raphael Varane, right, is challenged by Uruguay’s Cristhian Stuani during the quarterfinal match between Uruguay and France at the 2018 World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, July 6, 2018.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

But it was an error by Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera that settled it when he tried to palm a routine long-range, swerving Griezmann shot after 61 minutes but misjudged it and allowed it to slip past him.

WATCH: This is how crazy World Cup fans get about their matches…

Uruguay, hard-hit by the absence of injured key striker Edinson Cavani, showed plenty of commitment trying to find a way back but France controlled the ball well to secure their Saint Petersburg semi-final slot.

© 2018 Reuters

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