But Belgium, now unbeaten in 24 matches, sensationally doubled their lead by breaking from a Brazil corner in the 31st minute.
Argentina lost its Round of 16 clash with France at the ground, which is the home stadium for Russian Premier League side, Rubin Kazan.
Brazil left back Marcelo left an avenue as he went on forays upfield, and there were several attacks when Belgium had a player completely free on the right as they broke forward.
Trailing for the first time in the World Cup, a focused Seleção came out in the second looking determined to get on the scoreboard.
If you glanced at the match stats from Friday's quarterfinal and ignored the scoreline, you'd feel relatively safe in assuming that an ultra-aggressive Brazil scored a flurry of goals and breezed past Belgium into the semifinal.
"For me, Brazil are the best team in the tournament and without a doubt the biggest threat from open play". Defence is one of the strong points of the the current Brazil side, who have conceded just once in their four matches.
Romelu Lukaku took the ball with his back to goal, turned into space and stormed past Fernandinho up the pitch before releasing De Bruyne on his right for the playmaker to rifle the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
"Everyone was saying you should come in second (in Group G). but look at the European Championship when we had the same route as England now and things went wrong straight away". On the other hand, the Brazilians are again left to wonder where they went wrong and how they can regain their dominance in the handsome game.
Belgium, meanwhile, have the best attack in Russian Federation, having found the back of the net 15 times already.
"I think in the first half we played very well, generated a lot of opportunities and they didn't really know what they had to do". Only a three-goal comeback in the last 15 minutes saw Roberto Martinez's side book their ticket for the last eight.
Fernandinho's World Cup woes continued, Hazard's corner coming off the midfielder's arm to glide past Alisson and into the net as he rose to block. Prediction: "Brazil 3 Belgium 1".
And substitute Renato Augusto gave Brazil hope in the 76th minute with a glancing header from a deft Coutinho chip that beat Courtois and cut the Selecao's deficit in half.
After all was said and done, it was De Bruyne who was head and shoulders above all the others and is now emerging as a world-class talent whether playing for club or country.