Search form

menu menu

World Cup: Belgium qualify for quarter-final after beating US 2-1

10:21 02/07/2014

After a dramatic match in the intensely humid Arena Fonta Nove, Salvador, Belgium qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Cup, beating the US 2-1 in extra time.

Unlike in previous matches, the Red Devils went on the attack from the start and battled for 90 minutes against the seemingly unbeatable goalkeeper Tim Howard. Howard made 16 saves, the most by any keeper in a World Cup match since 1966.

Fifteen minutes into the game, play was momentarily interrupted by the arrival of a fan sporting a Superman T-shirt on to the pitch. He managed to ‘high five’ Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne before being led away by security.

The game continued with plenty of exciting near-misses. But it was only in extra time that Belgium finally scored the winning goals. Belgium’s manager Marc Wilmots brought on Romelu Lukaku in place of a flagging Divock Origi and just three minutes later, Lukaku released De Bruyne to score the first goal of the match.

In the 105th minute, Lukaku added a second goal. Refusing to let the Red Devils rest on their laurels, US winger Julian Green came back just two minutes later with a goal. The last few minutes of the game turned into a desperate battle to stave off an equaliser. But then the whistle blew and the Belgium team were secure in the knowledge that they would be facing Argentina at 18.00, Belgian time, in Brasilia on Saturday.

US manager Jürgen Klinsmann described the match afterwards as “a real drama, a thriller”. US president Barack Obama, who watched the match from the White House, said: “We’ll win it sooner than the world thinks.”

Looking ahead, Wilmots said: “If Argentina watched the match, they are going to start to be afraid.”

Written by Deborah Forsyth