Heartbreak for USA as Belgium advance in thriller
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, Belgium, Belguim News, News, United States, United States News
Belgium left it late but managed to secure a 2-1 win in extra time.
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann was so confident his team would advance that he told his players to change their flights home to the 14th of July, a day after the final.
The US fans came in droves and were their usual boisterous and colourful selves, providing the 12th man for their team as they had done all tournament. But in the end it wasn’t enough to get their team over the line.
Belgium welcomed back midfielder Eden Hazard for the game and gave youngster Divock Origi a start ahead of more experienced striker Romelu Lukaku.
Hazard was determined to make his mark on the game and created plenty of problems for the US down the right hand side, but there were no clear cut chances for either team in the 1st half.
Instead both teams looked more likely to score on the break.
In the second half Belgium put more pressure on the US, who looked jaded after advancing from a very difficult group. Origi justified his selection and came close to scoring when his header hit the bar in the 57th minute.
The USA spent most of the half defending deep, and goalkeeper Tim Howard made a number of great saves to keep his team in the game.
The game ended 0-0 in regulation time, and was the 6th game of the first knock-out phase to go to extra time.
Belgium finally got the goal they had deserved when Kevin De Bruyne slotted home in the second minute of extra time. Lukaku – who had come on as a substitute – then made it 2-0 in the 104th minute to seal the victory.
USA refused to lie down and got a goal back in the 2nd half of extra time, causing a nervous end to the game for Belgium but they managed to hold on.
It was heart breaking for the USA who fought hard and entertained throughout the tournament. Belgium advance and will play Argentina in the Quarter Finals on Saturday.
By Farren Collins
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