Alexi Lalas, Clarence Seedorf discuss Belgium’s 2-1 win over Brazil | 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Today

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Alexi Lalas, Clarence Seedorf, Kelly Smith, and Rob Stone discuss Belgium's 2-1 win over Brazil which eliminates Brazil in the quarterfinals and puts Belgium in the semifinal where they will face France.

- Roberto Martinez made two subs to the starting 11 to start the day, paid off. But in the end, when you look at Belgium's strategy coming into the day, what was it?

- Well, it was the last 20 minutes of the last game. I mean, everything just played out for Martinez. He-- he-- he got it. He saw it. And he repeated the team that he ended with in the last match.

And it was really intelligent to-- to sit a bit more back waiting for Brazil to come in that area where you can then create some counterattacks. And they are so good at it. They have the passing quality, the strength of Lukaku, De Bruyne that has the precision, a side that doesn't lose one ball, and then, you know, the quality to finish it. I said it before the game, this is a team that, in the last quarter of the field, they have like four, five, six players that can make a difference and they can score goals.

They making big party here behind us. But it's all good.


- Courtois, a big difference maker today for Belgium.

- Yeah, big, big game player, save after save after save, especially that one in the 94th minute when Brazil were really, really pushing. And you know, you see Uruguay keeper, Musala, who made a mistake. And that cost his team, whereas-- when you got a goalkeeper like him behind you, he was immense today.

And he really led from the back. And he was controlling his back line. He hung on to the ball so well, especially in that shot there. He punched stuff away. He was just fantastic. And you know, you need a big-game goalie like this, especially when you've playing a team with such high quality like Brazil.

HOST: He had 10 saves this tournament coming into the day, eight alone. But in the end, we're going to be talking about this Belgian counterattack. And they should make a DVD, run a counterattack camp, do something with this because we saw it versus Japan and we saw it again today. And it is something.

- It's beautiful. It's fluid. And it's deadly when it comes down to it. We've seen it now a couple of times. And when they get out on the run, first up, they smell it. They smell that opportunity. They smell that space. They've been drilled to understand when it comes about to immediately recognize it and capitalize on it. And they have done it consistently. It's a sight to behold. Whether it's ending up with a shot inside the box or whether it's ending up, in this case, with a shot because of the space and time that is created for De Bruyne ultimately.

But a lot of it comes from this man right here, Lukaku able to play that position up top, hold the ball, relieve pressure, and open up incredible space. He's so smart in terms of his runs and when he picks and chooses his times to hold the ball, to turn and run, to lay the ball off. In this one, just another wonderful example.

- All by design. This comes-- brings to the close, Brazil in another failure in the end at the World Cup. And Neymar judged so harshly. He and Jesus-- certainly Jesus never really got things going. But both of them had some moments tonight where you're saying, wait a second. Maybe if that whistle is blown or VAR says, let's change things, it might change the story of this match.

ALEXI LALAS: Yeah. But if you are shamed by a lot of the world for diving or people believing that you're diving, you're not going to get the benefit of the doubt. You're not going to get sympathy. And ultimately, you're not going to get the call. And not just you, but your team. It's going to affect your team.

CLARENCE SEEDORF: Alexi, I mean, I agree with you. But then we're actually saying that the referee is influencable by--

ALEXI LALAS: Human. We're saying it's human. You're absolutely right. You're saying he's a human being.

CLARENCE SEEDORF: Well, he should not. He should not. He should really just do what protocol says and judge on what he sees and what he can see. Because he didn't use a VAR not one time, which I think was an error. I don't say it was. But at least give the impression to everybody that you're checking it.

We're now in a new era, an era of the VAR. Use it. Make everybody accept the decision.

- It was used. It was used.

- Well, they-- he didn't want to check it.

- But fine. But it was used. We used it. It was used correctly. Just because we don't like the call doesn't mean that it didn't work correctly. We just don't like the decision ultimately.

CLARENCE SEEDORF: No, no. Actually-- actually I would accept the decision if he had went and check the VAR because the--

- But the protocol doesn't require him to do so.

- No, but the discussions with FIFA are now exactly that. They know what they're saying. Nobody knows what they said to each other. So we want transparency. We want them to go and check it and make a decision. Whatever it is, I'll accept it.

- So let me throw this one at the three of you. A lot of heat on social media at Neymar for the fouls, for his theatrics over the course of this tournament. And then on social media, we see teams making fun of Neymar. And now we see the fact that he's not getting these calls. Is this a message that is then sent to these cultures that maybe play with that style?

CLARENCE SEEDORF: Absolutely. I'm in favor of doing stuff that will reduce all of this. I don't like it. As I said, as a player, I'd never like to be on the ground. If I was on the ground, it's because they really fouled me.

But again, it's all over the place. In every matches, we're seeing this. So we definitely need to do some stuff. And if this helps, fine.

- It's not just a South American issue by any sense.

- Absolutely.

- You know, look, we saw some England players make some dives--

- France.

- --and doing some things, as well. France will do it as well.

Let's take a-- take in a heat map right now comparing Neymar and Hazard. Chelsea man--

ALEXI LALAS: Yeah but the work that Hazard did in that area was so beneficial and important to his team, especially down the stretch where they needed somebody to stretch, to play-- to get the ball into the corner. And his speed, at times when Brazil was pushing and it was one on one, he was able to get the ball, turn, use that speed, and chew up valuable, valuable time.


ANALYST: I would say, the last--

CLARENCE SEEDORF: --one ball. Sorry, go ahead.

ANALYST: --10 minutes of that game, Hazard really held the ball up well and committed fouls and really broke the game up for Belgium. And you saw him applauding on one of them, like they'd won the game because it meant so much to his team so late in the game.

And that's what a classy player does. He knows when to bring those fouls in, hold the ball up. And he would still going, even like 94 minutes plus accelerating. His fitness levels were immense.

HOST: He was fouled seven times tonight, a couple of those lead to yellow cards. And he was in full sprint on some of these plays in the late stages of this game.