Belgium was tactically sound against Brazil, says Martinez

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez praised his side's tactical prowess and his players' adaptability after the 2-1 win over Brazil on Thursday.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez looks on during his side's 2-1 win over Brazil in their FIFA World Cup quarterfinal clash on Friday.   -  Getty Images

Roberto Martinez's Belgium side coasted into the semifinal of the FIFA World Cup after securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Brazil on Friday.

Talking to the media post the game, Martinez spoke about how his side was tactically sound on the evening. "When you play Brazil, you need a tactical advantage. They bring a physiological barrier and we had to be brave tactically. It was a difficult choice and today it was not about tactics but execution. It's about stopping their threats and to have our threat and Eden (Hazard) and Romelu (Lukaku) gave that to us by their position in the pitch," he said.

READ: Belgium knocks out Brazil, to face France in semis

"It was game of heart, belief, as Brazil put a lot of pressure in the second half. Brazil needs 30 seconds to score a goal and the last five minutes were nervy for us. Everyone in this generation is special and they will give everything to make their country proud," added the 44-year-old.

He went on to talk talk about the players' adaptability and their fight to maintain possession against Brazil. "We have been facing different games and in every role we have been able to win and that's possible because the players have been adaptable. We like to have the ball and against Brazil it was a fight for the ball. We wanted to get the ball with less players in the middle. Against Brazil you need to have less bodies behind the ball as that opens more avenues. Our execution regarding that went perfect."

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Brazil pegged a goal back late in the second half when Neymar played a delicious lob Renato Augusto to convert, but Martinez said the goal didn't affect his team. "Mistakes happen in football. We made mistakes and our opening goal was the same. It's how you react to mistakes. Our effort was to keep creating goal scoring moments and I don't think the penalty decision or the mistake had any impact in the game," he concluded.

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