KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Brazilian fans’ hopes of celebrating a sixth World Cup title in Russia were dashed on Friday when their national team lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Belgium struck early and held off a late Brazil fightback to send the five-times champions tumbling out in an end-to-end thriller that earned a semi-final with France.
Engineer Flavio Montez flew the more than 12,500 km (7,767 miles) from his home in Sao Paulo to the Russian World Cup host city of Kazan for Friday’s game.
“We are very disappointed because we came here to go to the semi-finals and finals,” he said.
“But it was, I think in the end, a great match and Belgium played well. We have to accept that this is football.”
Daniel De Freitas Ariano, also from Sao Paulo, was not happy with Brazil midfielder Fernandinho, who inadvertently gave Belgium an early lead by scoring an own goal as the ball came off his shoulder into the net from a corner.
“We feel bad because Belgium played well. It’s always hard when the other team plays well,” he said.
“But I think the feeling I hate the most is Fernandinho, he basically lost the game for us.
“But we came to see the World Cup, and even losing was the best experience of our lives. Just to be here.”
(This version of the story has been refiled to fix typo in para 6)
Reporting by Michaela Cabrera; Writing by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Ken Ferris