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.
Brazil - down 2-0 and trailing for the first time in Russian Federation - seemed to sense the urgency of the situation and poured forward.
Belgium scored the decisive goal on a counterattack just after a corner had been taken by Neymar.More news: Meghan Markle ditches the Queen’s one fashion rule to fight the heatwave
That's then followed by the day's second quarter-final in Kazan between tournament favourites Brazil and Belgium in a match-up that could well prove to be one of the best yet at Russian Federation 2018 with six City players featuring in the two squads. The other one was the humiliating 7-1 defeat to eventual champ Germany four years ago on home soil.
Neymar ran at the Belgium defence until the end but had a second penalty appeal waved away by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic and a final shot tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as the last few seconds ticked away.
The Brazilians finally got some reward for their efforts with Augusto's header and Belgium needed a brilliant fingertip Courtois save from Neymar in the last seconds to secure a date with neighbours France in St Petersburg on Tuesday.
Tite said left back Marcelo, who injured his back in the group-stage game against Serbia, will start against Belgium after fully recovering.More news: Varane compares France’s Mbappe to Brazil icon Ronaldo
Hazard, for his part, captained Belgium as they overturned a 2-0 deficit against Japan, assisting the equalising goal.
Brazil were almost back on level terms twice soon after, but Augusto fired his shot from just outside the area wide of goal before Coutinho skied a shot from Neymar's laid-off pass well over the bar.
At the 12-minute mark, Belgium would draw first blood on their first set piece.
Brazil's World Cup title-less streak now stands at four tournaments, the drought a far cry from the team that went to three finals between 1994 and 2002, winning twice, or the Pele-led side that captured the trophy three times between 1958 and 1970.More news: Poland: Chief justice plans to disregard retirement order
Belgium is now on a 24-match unbeaten streak. The Red Devils are now a completely different outfit and head into Friday night's fixture determined to show the world what they're all about. According to research conducted by Betway, just three of the last 15 shoot-outs have been won by the team that went second.