Goodbye South America: Brazil loses to Belgium

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July 6, 2018 - 11:00 PM

KAZAN, Russia (AP) — Belgium reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years by holding off five-time champion Brazil 2-1 Friday, sending Neymar home without living up to the expectations of being soccer’s most expensive player.

Kevin De Bruyne put Belgium up 2-0 by completing a counterattack led by Romelu Lukaku in the 31st minute.

Shocked to be behind by a goal, Brazil seemed absolutely flummoxed to be down by two. Belgium’s physical play also knocked the Brazilians off their stride again and again. And when Brazil did find a way through, its shots either were blocked by scrambling Belgians or pushed away by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who had a strong game that included several diving saves and a last-minute leaping one to deny Neymar.

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