To get a better understanding of how these teams have come along. How they have performed and what can be expected from them in these upcoming ties, we will take a glimpse at them. In the second game of the quarterfinal, we have Belgium vs Brazil.
This is our attempt at recapping the teams, their strengths and their weakness. Let’s take a look at both the teams individually.
The European side that had been tagged as the dark horses of the tournament. They have won every single game they have played, and have shown shades of what they can do when their back is against the walls.
Belgium started off the tournament on the front foot. They were dominant against World Cup debutants Panama in the first game and dispatched them with a 3-0 scoreline.
The next game was against a tenacious Tunisia side. Belgium showed they don’t take their place for granted. They ragdolled the side for a 5-2 scoreline to show how far along the team has come.
They even won their third game against England, where both of the sides deployed a second-string side.
In the Round of 16 however, the team had to face adversity. Being 2-0 down to Japan, Belgium fought back from the claws of defeat to keep their dream alive and win the game in the dying embers of the game.
This victory proved that the team has the willpower to mount a comeback, and this asset will come handy when the going gets tough for the side.
Strengths: Flamboyant attack, Solid defence
Weaknesses: Can be clueless if Plan A doesn’t work, Lapses of concentration
The South American side is one of the favourites to win the competition. With many of the big boys out, it is down to Brazil to step up and clinch their sixth FIFA World Cup title.
A sluggish start to the campaign saw the team draw against Switzerland. They looked uncomfortable throughout the game, and it felt like a disaster was waiting to happen.
With a slight improvement in their next game against Costa Rica, where Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored in the dying embers of the game, it was thought that from here on out, Brazil will only get better.
As a matter of fact, they did when they won a comfortable game against Serbia in their last group game.
In the Round of 16, they faced a gritty Mexico side, which had already caused the biggest upset of the tournament. Brazil couldn’t take them lightly or else they too would have suffered from the same fate.
They survived the early pressure from the team but completely dominated them in the second half of the game. Coach Tite would’ve been happy to see this progress that the team had made in the tournament itself.
Brazil’s biggest asset is their two creative attacking players in Neymar and Philippe Coutinho. Either of them could score at any moment and are capable of creating magic on the field. The question for them will be though, can the replicate it against a physically strong side such as Belgium.
Strengths: Creative attacking threat, Talented goalkeeper
Weaknesses: Midfield problems, Ageing defence