The World Cup is staying in Europe!
Uruguay 0 vs. 2 France
France dominated possession but had the teams had equal chances in what was a close Quarter Final. France started the livelier of the two teams but Uruguay grew into the game which provided some great attacking football from both sides. France got the lead in the 40th minute after Varane rose highest to head the ball into the goal. Uruguay clearly missed Cavani during this game and did not look as sharp up front as they have in previous games. Uruguay had it all to do in the second half but it was France who doubled their lead in the 61st minute after a Griezmann shot was comically deflected by Muslera into his own goal. France defended brilliantly in the final minutes of the game to seal passage into the semi-finals. This World Cup has been the last one for several players and for Cavani, Suarez, Godin, and a few others it could be their final one. France go on and are now a game away from the final in Moscow.
Brazil 1 vs. 2 Belgium
In what was a brilliant tactical plan by Roberto Martinez, Belgium progressed into the semi-finals having beat tournament favourites Brazil. From the very start of the game there was brilliant end to end attacking football although Belgium seemed to be soaking more of the pressure as they played on the counter attack. One of these attacks led to a corner which gave Belgium the lead in the 13th minute after Fernandinho flicked the ball into his own net. Brazil responded brightly and continued to attack but Belgium countered well. Lukaku broke through the Brazilian midfield to pass to De Bruyne outside the box, De Bruyne brilliantly shot from distance to double Belgium’s lead in the 31st minute. As the game progressed in the second half Brazil began to gain more possession of the ball and thereby created more chances but while there were 27 shots in total only 9 were on target during the game. Brazil got a goal back in the 76th minute via Renato Augusto. Belgium held on and they made it to the semi-final’s while Neymar and Brazil went out with barely a whimper. Belgium will be relishing their game against France and will be once again involved in the showpiece game of the round. The front three of Hazard, Lukaku, and De Bruyne linked up well and rotated amongst the positions to provide problems to Brazil, although I could see a different tactical setup against a confident French team.