Sunday, 22nd June
vs Russia in Rio de Janeiro.
Belgium beat Russia (3:2) in Shizuka during the Group Stage of Korea-Japan 2002.
Belgium also played the Soviet Union three times at the World Cup
Finals: Mexico 1986, Spain 1982 and Mexico
A win for Belgium and they will qualify for the Second Round.
Belgium have a number of players who play in the English Premier
League and Russia have a former England manager, Fabio Capello, out with a point to prove.
The early initiative came from Belgium; Kevin De Bruyne looking good
Russia's Igor Akinfeev wasn't feeling confident about catching the
ball after the hash in his last game and resorted to punching away any danger.
Just before half-time, a lack of concentration in the middle of the
Belgium defence almost allowed Russia to sneak a goal; Aleksandr Kokorin heading wide.
Not a great forty-five minutes at the Maracana. Maybe we expected too
much from Belgium. Russia counter-attacked well but then faded when it came to thinking
about how to finish.
Half-time: Belgium 0 - Russia 0
The second-half went from bad to worse; even the fans in the stadium
were falling asleep.
Substitute Kevin Mirallas hit the post for Belgium as desperation set
in during the final ten minutes.
Then Mirallas poked the ball through to Eden Hazard; deflected for a
So that was the game plan: conserve energy for a surge towards the end
of the game. Not a great plan for the fans though.
Eden Hazard finally helped to break the deadlock, cutting the ball back to another Belgian
substitute, Divock Origi.
Hazard and Mirallas combined to almost double the lead for Belgium, in
the last minute of stoppage time.
They left it late, but key substitutions have taken Belgium through to
the Second Round and Fabio Capello thinking about where he'll be managing next.
Final Score: Belgium 1 - Russia 0
1:0 - Divock Origi (88 mins)
1-Thibaut Courtois; 2-Toby Alderweireld, 15-Daniel Van Buyten, 4-Vincent Kompany, 3-Thomas
Vermaelen; 6-Axel Witsel, 8-Marouane Fellaini, 7-Kevin De Bruyne, 10-Eden Hazard; 14-Dries
Mertens, 9-Romelu Lukaku.
1-Igor Akinfeev; 2-Aleksei Kozlov, 14-Vasili Berezutski, 4-Sergei Ignashevich, 23-Dmitri
Kombarov; 8-Denis Glushakov, 20-Viktor Fayzulin, 19-Alexander Samedov, 17-Oleg Shatov;
6-Maksim Kanunnikov, 9-Aleksandr Kokorin.
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych - Germany
3 yellow cards:
37 mins - Denis Glushakov (Russia)
53 mins - Axel Witsel (Belgium)
72 mins - Toby Alderweireld (Belgium)
South Korea vs Algeria
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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