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How Brazil reached the 2018 WC quarter-finals

How Brazil reached the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals; team stats, key players, tactics

July 3, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Brazil has seemingly put behind the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup and is already up and running to secure a sixth world title at Russia 2018.

It was all business for the Seleccao from the word go in their quest for glory. After playing out a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opening group game, the South Americans upped the ante in subsequent games against Costa Rica and Serbia to bag home two wins via a 2-0 scoreline in both cases.

Having progressed to the knockout stage as group winners, Tite's men were put through their paces with a Round of 16 clash against Mexico. The hurdle was scaled once more with yet another 2-0 victory in the thrilling encounter, courtesy goals by Neymar Jr and Roberto Firmino.

Nevertheless, a relatively tougher challenge awaits when they encounter Belgium at the quarter-final. Will they lay waste the Europeans? Considering the momentum in the side and the performances of the likes of Neymar, Coutinho, Willian, and co, it is more possible than probable. 

Tactics

Despite failing to get the best out of his men with the 4-3-3 formation in the opening game against Switzerland, Coach Tite stuck with his system and its proved its usefulness in subsequent games. Till date, the only real changes can be seen in the full-back positions with Fagner and Felipe Luis replacing the injured Danilo and Marcelo respectively in the successive games against Serbia and Mexico.

The midfield three of Casemiro, Paulinho, and Coutinho has also yielded dividend as the latter duo has contributed two goals to the campaign aside their general duties. The bench of Brazil has also proved to one that could win games considering how impactful their substitutes have been in games. Firmino, Douglas Costa, and the likes have all delivered their quota when called upon by Tite.

Key team stats

• Brazil has won six of its last seven matches across all competitions.

• Brazil has conceded just one goal in their last nine games

• Brazil has kept 11 clean sheets in their last 14 World Cup matches.

• Brazil has scored at least two goals in 16 of their last 19 World Cup matches.

• The Brazil team is unbeaten across all competitions since losing to Argentina in a friendly back in August 2017.

Key players

1. Neymar Jr: Neymar scored his 57th international goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico in his 89th appearance for the Seleccao.

2. Philippe Coutinho: Coutinho has been involved in four of Brazil's seven World Cup goals.


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