Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2014 Contents RIO DE JANEIRO---Twice now, Belgium
has relied on a late revival boosted by stam-
ina and its bench to turn desperate situ-
ations around at the World Cup. Yesterday,
it was teenager Divock Origi who turned
a listless Belgian performance into a late
1-0 win over Russia, enough to qualify for
the next round.
Belgium barely contained a reinvigorated
Russia for most of the match, yet struck
with a blistering late spurt of class and
opportunism to turn a bad situation into a
wild, fist-pumping celebration for coach
Marc Wilmots and his team in the 88th
"Why were we good in last 10 minutes?
Simple, the others were tired," said Wilmots.
"The Russians were so tired they looked at
their feet, and it offered us chances to count-
er."After its dour 1-1 draw with South Korea,
Russia produced the kind of sparkle and
dominance that most had been expected
more from Belgium in front of 73,819
increasingly restless fans at Maracana sta-
With Belgian King Philippe looking on,
substitute Kevin Mirallas hit a freekick
against the post in 84th minute, setting off
the amazing turnaround. At first it appeared
as if late flashes from Eden Hazard would
only camouflage a dismal performance.
But then the playmaker made a move
into the area on the left and spotted Origi
free in the centre. A pinpoint pass from
Hazard and cool right-foot finishing from
the 19-year-old Origi gave Belgium the vic-
Belgium didn t play with any real authority
for most of the game on a bright, sunny
afternoon in Rio, confounding predictions
that it should be one of the teams to watch
at the World Cup.
Instead, it was Russia applied most pres-
sure in the second half and was let down
by its blunt finishing touch. That helped
give Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois
his 100th professional clean sheet at age
22.Belgium moved to six points with the
"Now we will build a party, but then it
is back to work as of tomorrow," Wilmots
Belgium could be considered lucky to go
to halftime at 0-0, escaping a penalty in
the 26th minute when German referee waved
on play after defender Toby Alderweireld
was late with a challenge on Maksim Kanun-
nikov in the area.
While most critics had been expecting a
defence-oriented Russia against Belgium,
Capello decided otherwise and the addition
of 22-year-old Maksim Kanunnikov gave
some zip to the team that it so badly lacked
against South Korea.
Wilmots promoted his two substitute
goalscorers from the 2-1 win over Algeria
to the starting lineup and while Dries
Mertens thrived on the right wing, Marouane
Fellaini was sloppy and ineffectual in the
centre of midfield.
Once Russia s central defense of Sergey
Ignashevich and Vasily Berezutskiy worked
out how to control the Belgian passing com-
binations, momentum changed. And after
the early massive cheers for Belgium from
the crowd, shouts of "Ro-ssi-ya, Ro-ssi-
ya," took over. (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, June 23, 2014
USA 2 (Jermaine Jones 64, Clint Dempsey 81) vs
Portugal 2 (Nani 5, Silvestre Varela 90+5)
Belgium 1 (Divock Origi 88) vs Russia 0
Korea 2 (Heung-Min Son 50, Ja-Cheol Koo 72) vs
Algeria 4 (Islam Slimani 26, Rafik Halliche 28,
Abdelmoumene 37, Yacine Brahimi 62)
Cameroon vs Brazil, Brasilia, 4 pm
Cameroon won the last meeting involving these
sides, running out 1-0 victors when Samuel Eto'o
scored a late winner during the 2003
Confederations Cup. However, Brazil won their
only World Cup meeting - 3-0 in 1994.
Cameroon have hit 30 shots in this World Cup
but only three of them have been on target.
Cameroon have kept only one clean sheet in their
last 18 World Cup games.
Brazil haven't failed to top their World Cup group
since the last tournament in South America
Croatia vs Mexico, Recife, 4 pm
Mexico have won only seven of their 30 World
Cup games against European opposition.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic has scored with both
of his shots on target so far. Croatia have never
won their final group game at a World Cup (D1
Mexico haven't won their final group game at a
World Cup since 1986 (on home soil).
Australia vs Spain, Curitiba, noon
This will be the first ever meeting between
Australia and Spain.
Australia have only won one of their seven World
Cup games against European opposition (2-1 v
Serbia in 2010).
Spain have never lost all three matches in a
World Cup group.
Tim Cahill has scored five of Australia's 11 World
Cup goals but is suspended for this game.
In winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro
2012, Spain conceded a total of six goals, one
fewer than they have so far at World Cup 2014.
Netherlands vs Chile, Sao Paulo, noon
The Netherlands have failed to win their two
matches against South American opposition
when the World Cup has been held in South
America (0-0 v Peru and 1-3 v Argentina in
The Dutch have won three of the last four World
Cup games in which they've gone behind.
Netherlands have not lost a World Cup group
match since 1994.
Chile have never won three successive World Cup
matches within the same tournament.
Japan vs Colombia, Cuiaba, 4 pm
Greece vs Ivory Coast, Fortaleza, 4 pm
Italy vs Uruguay, Natal, noon
Costa Rica, Belo Horizonte, noon
WORLD CUP GLANCE
Origi gives Belgium late winner
Portugal rescues 2-2 draw with US
do set up Varela for a late
equaliser on a hot and humid
night in the jungle yesterday
to give the Portugal a 2-2 draw
with the United States and
hope for a spot in the second
round of the World Cup.
Ronaldo, who has been play-
ing despite a left knee injury,
sent in a cross in the fifth minute
of stoppage time and Varela
scored with a diving header in
the last seconds of the match.
Nani had scored first for Por-
tugal, shooting past a sprawling
Tim Howard in the fifth minute,
but the Americans responded
in the second half as Portugal
seemed to wilt in the stifling
Jermaine Jones made it 1-1
with a curling shot in the 64th
minute after a cross from Gra-
ham Zusi made its way through
the Portugal defense.
Clint Dempsey, playing with
a broken nose, then put the
Americans ahead in the 81st.
The United States captain used
his stomach to direct the ball
into the net from a cross by Zusi.
The last-second draw denied
the Americans a spot in the sec-
ond round, but it kept Portugal
alive in the tournament.
The United States now has
four points in Group G, the same
as Germany. Both Portugal and
Ghana have one point. The
Americans will face Germany
on Thursday in Recife, while
Portugal takes on Ghana at the
same time in Brasilia. (AP)
Algeria hits four past South Korea
PORTO ALEGRE---First half strikes by
Islam Slimani and Rafik Halliche helped
Algeria to beat South Korea 4-2 yesterday
and become the first African team to score
four goals in a World Cup match.
Algeria led 3-0 at halftime, but withstood
a stronger South Korean second half per-
formance to claim its first World Cup win
since 1982 and move into second place in
Group H with one match left to play.
Defeat for South Korea means it must
now beat already-qualified Belgium to stand
a chance of progressing to the knockout
stages. Belgium leads with six points, Algeria
now has three, while Russia and the South
Koreans have one apiece.
Slimani, one of three Algeria scorers who
didn t start in the opening 2-1 loss to Bel-
gium, broke the deadlock in the 26th minute
with a fine solo goal, running onto a through
ball between two defenders and then touch-
ing it past Jung Sung-ryong.
Two minutes after the restart, defender
Rafik Halliche powerfully headed in a corner
after Jung came off his line but failed to
make contact with the ball.
Algeria added a third goal in the 38th
when Abdelmoumene Djabou side-footed
home from close to the penalty spot after
Slimani pulled the ball back for him.
South Korea didn t manage a shot on tar-
get all half, and struggled to break down
Algeria s attacks.
However, it was far more positive after
the break and pulled a goal back in the 48th
minute when Son Heung-min shot through
the legs of Rais Mbolhi.
Hopes of a remarkable comeback were
soon extinguished, though, when swift pass-
ing by Slimani put Yacini Brahimi through
on a counter attack to make it 4-1.
South Korea captain Koo Ja-cheol bundled
the ball home on 72 minutes from close
range, but Algeria s defense held on to secure
a historic victory. (AP)
Russia's Andrei Yeshchenko (22) gets a kick off ahead of Belgium's Eden Hazard during
the group H World Cup match between Belgium and Russia at the Maracana Stadium in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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