Belgium prepared tactics in secret, says Tielemans

Belgium prepared its switch to a defensive back four versus Brazil in just two training sessions, according to Youri Tielemans.

The Red Devils reverted to a back four in the 2-1 win over Brazil, in which Tielemans came on as a late substitute.   -  AFP

Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans says Roberto Martinez waited until the eyes of the media were off his team before working on the defensive tactics for the victory over Brazil.

Having played a line of three with wing-backs in their previous World Cup matches, the Red Devils reverted to a back four in the 2-1 win over Brazil, in which Tielemans came on as a late substitute.

The approach worked wonders as the Selecao poured forward in search of goals after going 2-0 down in the first half and Belgium restricted Tite's side to just nine shots on target from 27 attempts in the quarterfinal tie.

Tielemans told reporters that head coach Martinez was careful not to allow news of the change in system to leave Belgium's training camp.

"We really talked together," said Tielemans. "We had two training sessions where we really worked the tactics once you, the journalists, were no longer there.

"Sorry, but that's the only way we can work."

Up against neighbours

The 21-year-old, who plays his club football for Monaco, says meeting France in the semifinals will be special on a personal level.

He also warned his team-mates of the challenge ahead of them, adding: "We hope we will continue against France in the next match. It will be up to us to do the job but it will be very difficult.

"These are our neighbours. Everyone knows France well. They have a very good team and a great history.

"For me it will be more special. In footballing terms, I'm French. But we will have to ignore all that and do as we did [against Brazil]."

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