World Cup Brazil: Belgium through to quarterfinals; Soccer dream USA over
By Frans van Hees | www.AboutBrasil.com | Week 27, July 2014
Rio de Janeiro —
Belgiumis through to the World Cup 2014 quarterfinals, but the second round match against the
United Stateswas nerve-racking. Belgium escaped elimination with the narrowest of margins. The Red Devils won in extra time: 2-1.
Belgium through; USA out...
The chances Belgium got in order to score a goal were unnumerable.
Only in the extra time Belgium could exchange two opportunities into goals: 2-0, thanks to
Kevin de Bruyne and substitute Romelu Lukaku.
However, through a goal by Julian Green the match was still exciting again, but Belgium survived and will meet Argentina in the quarterfinals after the final score of 2-1.
Belgium should have blamed itself that it was not leading with a big score at half-time. The space offered by the Americans and the breakneck pace was excellent for coach Marc Wilmots' soccer team, but each time Belgium was disappointingly bad in front of the American cage.
Also in the second half it was one-way soccer play in Salvador. Team USA was constantly under pressure. However, Divock Origi (header hits the bar), Jan Vertonghen (volley and shot), Dries Mertens (back heel) could not score. And if the Belgian team thought they would then the excellent goalkeeper Tim Howard was in the way. In the 75th minute substitute Kevin Mirrallas missed a not to be missed chance for Belgium.
Because Belgium did not score, the United States could still hope for a miracle. It seemed to happen when from out of nowhere the Americans got a huge chance for reaching the quarterfinals. Substitute Chris Wondolowski was able to aim at close range. Just before time Wondolowski missed though and Belgium escaped a fatal goal.
In the third minute of the extra half hour the Belgians finally scored. Preparatory work Lukaku was neatly finished by De Bruyne. A little later that same Lukaku signed for the equally liberating 2-0.
Who thought it would be over now, was wrong. In the second part of the extra time, the
USA came back with a goal by sub Julian Green. The sensational 2-2 was still able when the Belgians hardly knew how to deal with the still fit American soccer team, but in the end they were spared a soccer disaster.
Final score 2-1,
Belgium through to the quarterfinalswhere Argentina awaits, USA back home with heads held high.
Matches & Standings Second Round - World Cup 2014