Belgium's golden generation eliminate Brazil to set up heavyweight semi-final clash with France

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's coverage of the 2018 Football World Cup from Russia.


What a game, what a tournamet for Belgium! Both remaining South American teams have been sent home, meaning the 2018 champions will be European once more.

That'll be all from us today, we'll be back tomorrow morning for the final two quarter-finals, with England against Sweden, and Croatia taking on hosts Russia.

7:54am: FULLTIME - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Corner for Belgium. Hazard and De Bruyne play it short, looking to run the clock down. Brazil win it back, but that'll be fulltime! Belgium win it! They go through to the semi-finals!

7:52am: 90+5 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Huge chance for Brazil! Neymar curls one for the top corner, but Courtois gets a hand to the ball to force a corner. Last real chance you feel for Brazil. The header goes over the bar though. One minute left.

7:49am: 90+2 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Brazil claim a penalty, Neymar the "victim", challenge from Meunier. The referee checks upstairs with the VAR, nothing given.

7:47am: 90 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Brazil throwing everything forward now, but Belgium's defence holds firm. Kompany heads out Marcelo's cross before Tielemans is bought down on the counter. There'll be five minutes of added time.

7:42am: 85 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Firmino slips Neymar through down the left, he dribbles to the edge of the area before pulling the ball back for Coutino to strike, his shot sails well over the bar though.

7:40am: 83 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

Chadli goes down injured, and Belgium prepare to bring on Thomas Vermaelen as a substitute, switching to a five man defence.

7:33am: 76 mins - Brazil 1 Belgium 2

GOAL!!! Douglas Costa sprints downt he right and gets a shot away - Courtois saves. Neymar is there for the follow up, but Kompany blocks. The ball ends up wide on the left with Coutinho, who chips into the box for Renato Augusto who scores! Brazil finally break through, but will it be too little too late?

7:27am: 70 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Lukaku surges forward down the right hand side, beating Miranda for pace, but he can't catch up with the ball.

7:20am: 63 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Another Belgium counter. They break through Chadli, who finds De Bruyne, he's got Hazard and Lukaku ahead of him. He goes for Hazard, who shoots but the ball sails wide of the far post.

7:14am: 57 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Jesus goes through Vertonghen's legs, but Kompany takes him out. The referee wants to check for a penalty with the VAR, was the ball still in play at the time of the foul? No penalty.

7:11am: 54 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Neymar goes down in the area pleading for the VAR, but the referee's unmoved. Jesus now looking like he's playing from the right looks to force his way into the box, but Belgium hold firm. Coutinho tries a through ball for Firmino, but Belgium clear again.

7:07am: 50 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Firmino and Neymar slice Belgium apart, only for Kompany to save the day at the back and start a counter. De Bruyne finds Lukaku, who runs from the right and looks to cut onto his left foot, but Miranda is there to bail Brazil out of any trouble.

7:03am: 46 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Belgium get the ball rolling in the second half.


Belgium looking determined in the tunnel, they're 45 minutes away from the semi-final. Brazil meanwhile appear to have made a change, with Roberto Firmino emerging out onto the pitch after the break, not sure who he's replaced just yet, word coming through that he'll take Willian's place.

6:47am: HALFTIME - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

What a first half. Attacking flair from both sides, with Belgium taking their chances to lead 2-0 at the break. Brazil aren't completely out of it, but they'll need to be much better in the second spell to have a chance of getting out of this and into the semi-finals.

6:42am: 42 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Free kick in a dangerous position for Belgium. De Bruyne and Hazard stand over it. De Bruyne shoots, but Allison gets up to tip over the bar. Corner for Belgium.

Chadli takes, he finds Kompany who gets another flick on, but Allison saves.

6:40am: 40 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

Coutinho wins a corner after another rocket is saved by Courtois. Belgium clear but Brazil still on the attack. Willian has the ball wide on the right, he finds Fernandinho who crosses in but Kompany clears.

Belgium counter again, Chadli with the ball wide on the left. Hazard finds De Bruyne on the edge of the area, but can't work an opening, the ball goes back to Courtois.

6:32am: 32 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 2

GOAL!!! Corner for Brazil now, Willian to take again. Belgium clear the ball to Fernandinho who shoots, but its blocked. Neymar shoots on the follow up, deflected out for a corner. Neymar to take now. 

Miranda looks for the near post flick again, but Belgium counter! Lukaku runs before finding De Bruyne on the right - and he scores! De Bruyne belts in an absolute rocket and Allison has no chance! Belgium double their lead.

6:24am: 24 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 1

Corner for Belgium, De Bruyne to take. He's had an absolute shocker though, sending it curling away from the area, and Brazil regain possession.

6:20am: 20 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 1

Coutinho tries one of his trademark rockets from distance, but Courtois is up to the task and claims the ball.

6:13am: 13 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 1

GOAL!!! Corner for Belgium now, plenty of big men in the area. Chadli to take, and its in! Kompany flicks it straight onto Fernandinho and he puts it past his own keeper! The 11th own goal of the tournament sees Belgium take the lead in Kazan.

6:11am: 11 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 0

Another Brazil corner, Willian to take. He finds Paulinho unmarked, but the shot is miscued. Belgium's defence looking shaky at the moment.

6:09am: 9 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 0

Marcelo wins a corner down the left flank, Brazil's first of the match. Miranda flicks on for Thiago Silva but he's hit the post! Belgium counter now, Lukaku finds De Bruyne in the box, he passes back to Hazard to shoot, but the shot is blocked.

6:07am: 7 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 0

Belgium looking silky on the ball, De Bruyne sends a cross field ball over the top for Meunier to head back to Lukaku, but Brazil intercept. Neymar goes down easily under the challenge from Fellaini.

6:03am: 3 mins - Brazil 0 Belgium 0

De Bruyne gets the ball from his club teammate Fernandhinho, getting a shot away on the edge of the area. Allison watches it go wide though.

6:00am: KICKOFF - Brazil 0 Belgium 0

We're away in the second quarter-final! Brazil get the ball rolling in Kazan.


Both sides in the tunnel, kick off around 10 minutes away.


Here are the final starting sides, with both teams making two changes from their round of 16 wins:

Brazil (4-3-3): 1. Allison (gk), 22. Fagner, 2. Thiago Silva, 3. Miranda (c), 12. Marcelo, 15. Paulinho, 17. Fernandinho, 11. Philippe Coutinho, 19. Willian, 9. Gabriel Jesus, 10. Neymar.

Belgium (3-4-3): 1. Thibaut Courtois (gk), 2. Toby Alderweireld, 4. Vincent Kompany, 5. Jan Vertonghen, 15. Thomas Meunier, 6. Axel Witsel, 8. Marouane Fellaini, 22. Nacer Chadli 7. Kevin De Bruyne, 9. Romelu Lukaku, 10. Eden Hazard (c).


France have become the first side through to this year's semi-finals, defeating Uruguay 2-0 in Nizhny Novgorod, now we'll see who'll be their opponents, as Brazil and Belgium face off in Kazan.

Neither of these sides have looked at their best so far this tournament, however both pack enough star power to put on an absolute thriller here today.

For Belgium, three of their last four meetings against South American opposition have resulted in defeat, while Brazil have been eliminated by a European side in the last three editions of the World Cup - meaning we should be in for a cracker.

We'll have the final starting XIs for you shortly.


Former Premier League striker rejects offer to join rebuilding Wellington Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix are back to recruiting players after their latest attempt to sign another former Premier League player fell through.

The Kiwi club was in talks with veteran Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins after he had been frozen out by his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua following a serious injury in April.

But Martins has decided to focus on recovery from his torn hamstring instead of signing with a new team.

"I've spoken with Obafemi and he just wants to continue to rehabilitate from his injury in the UK for the time being," his agent Ante Alilovic told SBS.

"He's told me he wants to hold off until January (to make a decision on his future).

"I don't think the A-League is a serious option in terms of what he can earn elsewhere. He won't be coming to Australia and I think he sees his future remaining in China."

Martins played five seasons for Inter Milan from 2001-2006 before moving to the Premier League, making 88 appearances in three years for Newcastle United. More recently, Martins has played in Major League Soccer before joining Shanghai.

It's a blow for the Wellington club who received a green light from Football Federation Australia to pursue the 33-year-old with a marquee contract, meaning they would contribute from their own funds to help the Phoenix get his signature on the dotted line.

It marks the second failed attempt to find a marquee player after reported negotiations between former Chelsea star Michael Essien and Phoenix broke down prior to their pursuit of Martins.

Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor.
Obafemi Martins celebrates a goal for Newcastle United with Steven Taylor. Source: Getty



TVNZ FC: Return of the Champions League and this is Zlatan's world, we just live in it

TVNZ FC is back for another week, with plenty to talk about from the world of football.

This week, Jack Tame is joined by Victor Waters and Simon Plumb, as Europe's elite welcomed the return of the Champions League.

Elsewhere, Liverpool and Chelsea keep their 100 per cent winning starts to the Premier League alive, while Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks his duck in Italy.

Jumping across the pond, Zlatan Ibrahimovic notched his 500th career goal in the only way he knows how, firing home an audacious karate-kick for the LA Galaxy against Toronto FC.

And finally, our very own Victor finds himself at the centre of a movement to bring a former Newcastle and Inter Milan star down under to the Wellington Phoenix.

Jack Tame leads TVNZ's football gurus to discuss this week's action. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: Stunning late goal gives Liverpool dramatic Champions League victory over PSG

Roberto Firmino had an eye for goal just when Liverpool needed a winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Liverpool had thrown away a two-goal lead at Anfield today, with Kylian Mbappe striking an 83rd-minute equaliser, but the French World Cup star's carelessness at the other end proved costly for PSG in stoppage time.

Mbappe was dispossessed by James Milner, giving Liverpool a final chance to attack the visiting goal.

Firmino, who only came on in the second half after scratching his eye in Sunday's victory at Tottenham, found the space to weave through the PSG defence and strike the ball low into the net to seal a 3-2 victory.

For his celebration, the Brazilian covered his left eye as teammates leapt on him.

It made for painful viewing for PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, who had seen similar scenes before.

As Borussia Dortmund coach, Tuchel's side also conceded in the first minute of stoppage time at Anfield to go out of the Europa League in the quarterfinals in 2016.

The stakes weren't as high this time. This was only the opening game in Group C of the Champions League and PSG has five games to secure one of the top two places to advance to the round of 16.

But four months after losing last season's final, Liverpool showed they might be capable of challenging for the title once again by finding a way to tame Neymar and Mbappe for much of the game.

An emphatic start saw Daniel Sturridge score the opener in the 30th minute and Milner double the lead from the penalty spot six minutes later.

But having failed to turn their dominance into more goals, Liverpool conceded before halftime when Thomas Meunier sliced into the net.

And Liverpool was left reeling when Mohamed Salah misplaced a pass that allowed Neymar to carry the ball forward and Mbappe to produce the equaliser.

Salah was brought off two minutes later, and found his own curious way to celebrate Firmino's winning goal.

The Egypt forward threw a water bottle at the ground looking far from happy.


Inter Milan star fires home brilliant volley as Tottenham snatch Champions League defeat from jaws of victory

Inter Milan scored two late goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to mark their return to the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Tottenham this morning.

Inter's first game in the competition since 2012 looked set to end in disappointment when Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen's shot took a lucky deflection and looped into the net in the 53rd minute.

But Mauro Icardi equalised with a perfectly struck volley in the 86th and Vecino headed in the winner in injury time to send the San Siro wild.

Tottenham fell to their third straight loss in all competitions despite taking the lead somewhat against the run of play.

Eriksen's initial shot was parried by Samir Handanovic but the Inter defense failed to clear the danger.

The ball came back to the Denmark international and his second attempt took a huge deflection off Joao Miranda and floated over Handanovic.

However, Icardi pounced four minutes from time with a powerful volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

That inspired Inter and they poured forward. After earlier chances to snatch the winner, a corner was nodded on to Vecino who headed in in the second minute of stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane's post-World Cup struggles continued.

Kane was the top scorer at the tournament in Russia with six goals in England's run to the semifinals, but the 25-year-old has not found the back of the net since a 3-0 victory over Manchester United last month.

He went closest in the 37th minute as he sprung the offside trap to meet Eriksen's ball over the top but Handanovic forced the England forward wide and he couldn't find the angle to shoot.