Like Germany and Argentina, Brazil also failed to overcome the Kazan obstacle as they lost to Belgium (1-2), in the quarterfinal at the same venue. The five-time world champions started with an attacking, intent created lots of opportunities but wasn’t able to convert any of them into a goal. On the other hand, the red devil's were much more organized, played according to their plan and hit Brazil on the counters. It was a match, where Roberto Martinez overshadowed his Brazilan counterpart with his masterful strategy. There were three key reasons behind this unfortunate defeat of Brazil. Let's analyze those factors.
In absence of inform Casemiro who had a fantastic tournament, Manchester City star Fernandinho was given the role to unsettle the red devil’s in the midfield. But Fernandinho wasn’t able to do his job properly like Casemiro did in previous matches for Brazil. Casemiro's all-around ability to provide support in defence as well as in the attack could have been handy against Belgium on Friday. Fernandinho was more eager to play the attacking midfielder's role and wasn’t able to track back quickly to his original position in defensive midfield. Hence there was a huge void created between Brazil’s midfield and back line. Roberto Martinez side took full advantage of that and put Brazil under tremendous pressure with their breezy counter attack’s, which was too much to handle for the likes of Thiago Silva and Miranda in the back line. In fact, Belgium took the lead very early in the game courtesy of Fernanadinho’s own goal. Fernandinho was looking to clear the Eden Hazard’s corner but he missed timed his jump, the deflected from his left-arm and gone into Brazil's net. Fernandinho wasn't in his position when Belgium got their second goal. Lukaku took full advantage of that, ran quickly with the ball and provided a brilliant pass to De Bruyne. And without wasting any time Kevin De Bruyne took a beautiful shot from just outside of the penalty area that beat the Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and gone into the net.
#Inability to finish
Brazil actually hasn't played badly in Kazan. In fact, they had a lion share of ball possession(57%) and created numerous chance right throughout the game. In the 8th minute of the match, Thiago Silva missed a sitter from a close range. And that trend continued for rest of the match. The likes of Neymar, Jesus, Frimino had lost their way in front of the goal. The PSG's star Neymar had an off day too and failed to create an impact in the match. Neymar made the mistake of keeping the ball unnecessarily on his feet that provided Belgium defence lot of time to crowd him out.
Belgium goalkeeper Courtois perhaps played the best game of his life in Kazan. If wasn't for Courtois the red devil’s would have been out of the competition. Courtois brought all his experience, agility and guile into play that kept the Brazilan forwards at bay. Courtois was only beaten once in the match when Renato Augusto scored with a well-timed header in the 76th minute of a match to reduce the deficit. But that wasn't enough for Brazil. Neymar had taken a fantastic shot in the stoppage time, but Courtois stretched towards his left-hand side to deny him the opportunity to equalize.