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Quarterfinal day one recap

World Cup

France 2 Uruguay 0

France capitalizes on its limited opportunities

What looked to be an evenly matched game somehow turned into a 2 to 0 win for France. France’s first goal came as the result of a beautiful header that was perfectly placed into the corner of the net.

What a beautiful goal. France certainly deserved to score, but 2-0 just doesn’t tell the whole story. Throughout the game the teams were very even with France having the slight edge in possession with 57% but Uruguay having four shots on goal to France’s two. In fact, Uruguay even looked like the better team at times, but missing Edinson Cavani meant that Uruguay just lacked the attacking strength needed to finish. In the end, it was just too much for Uruguay to overcome against a squad as talented as France.

Uruguay’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera seals fate with failed save

Uruguay seemed alive and well in the game until the 61st minute when Griezmann’s shot glanced off of goalkeeper Muslera’s hands and into the back of the net.

Even then Uruguay still had hope. Unfortunately, it did not amount to anything as France took the game 2-0 without much trouble in the end.

Belgium 2 Brazil 1

Belgium make a change against Brazil

Roberto Martinez changed Belgium’s formation to match up against Brazil. They came out this match in a 4-3-3 as opposed to their usual 3-4-3. It showed that Belgium respects the threat that Brazil possesses on the attack and wanted to dedicate more numbers to protect their goal. This was for good reason because they have been vulnerable at times in this tournament, especially behind the fullbacks. However, Belgium did not play scared, they went toe to toe with Brazil and didn’t look out of place.

A strong first half puts Belgium up two to zero

In the first half, Brazil and Belgium traded strong chances with Belgium, forcing an own goal by Fernandinho. They later extended their lead with a strong counterattack goal from De Bruyne.

Many Belgian players put on extremely strong performances like the aforementioned Kevin De Bruyne, as well as Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Brazil owns second half, and it doesn’t matter
World Cup
Brazil score a late goal. Photo by Frank Augstein/AP

Brazil dominated most of the second half and could have easily had more goals had they had some luck on their side. Brazil had 27 shots with nine on goal to Belgium’s nine shots with three on goal. In addition, Brazil had almost 60% of possession. They almost entirely stifled Belgium’s attack in the last 45 minutes. They even scored a goal in the 76th minute to make it close.

It was all for not though, as they just could not get an equalizer in the closing minutes.

Featured image by Toru Hanai/Reuters

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