Belgium Shoot the Americans Back Home

By Oliver Ngwenya    02-Jul-2014 11:30 UTC+02:00

Belgium needed all of ninety minutes and some more in order to dispatch of a resolute American team in this fast paced second round match played at the Arena Fonte Nova under the watchful Algerian referee, Djamel Haimoudi with over fifty thousand spectators in attendance. Following a goalless opening 90 minutes, the match sprang to life when Kevin De Bruyne fired Belgium in front in the 93rd minute. Substitute Romelu Lukaku doubled their advantage on 105 minutes before Julian Green pulled one back for Team USA two minutes later.

When they met with The United States of America, Belgium showed why they have managed to cruise through the groups stages of this version of the FIFA World Cup which is being hosted by Brazil. They started the match in a fast paced business like fashion and could have taken the lead in literally the opening minute of the games when young Origi beat the offside trap and, with only the bearded keeper to beat, his attempted chip over the keeper did not carry high enough with the result that Howard became a hero for that save. The Red Devils were back in attack again a minute later but the resolute and determined American defence blocked De Bruyn’s effort. From that moment, the Stars and Stripes started imposing themselves more as they do in all other spheres of life. This resulted in their first real chance at goal when Clint Dempsey combined well with Michael Bradley and this culminated in a brilliant shot by Dempsey but Courtois was equal to the task and palmed the effort out for a corner kick.

Belgium upped the tempo after the half-time break, with Dries Mertens in particular causing the USA defence some problems early on. Howard, in goals for the United States of America was being called into the service of his great nation with high regularity as the second half wore on. Origi was the biggest culprit in this as in the 84th minute, he fired a rising drive before his team mate, Hazard’s left footed effort hit the side netting. When the match was finally dragged into extra time, the Belgians began to click well and in only the third minute of the extra time, they finally found their scoring touch. Lukaku picked up the ball on the right hand side and drove it deep towards the USA goal line before cutting back to De Bruyn who drilled a grounder from the right hand side of the box into the bottom left hand side of the goal and beating Howard all systems out.

De Bruyn then turned provider when the two again combined wonderfully to double Belgium’s advantage on the stroke of half-time with Lukaku smashing home a swerving shot at the near post. The American’s never-say-die attitude was in evidence in the way they tried to fight back into the game. Substitute, Julian Green found the back of the net with a brilliant volley with his first touch of the game. However, this was a case of too little to late and the final result meant that Jurgen Klinsmann’s men are out of contention for the FIFA World Cup this time around and that the armed Devils have set themselves a date against Argentina in the quarter finals.

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