Divock Origi’s goal in the nick of time saves Belgium from a seemingly goalless draw against Russia, winning 1 – 0 last Sunday at Estadio Macarana in Rio de Janeiro.
Despite Belgium’s dominance over ball possession throughout the match, Russia was more aggressive in making a goal. Alexander Kokorin almost scored a goal for Russia before the end of the first half of the match, missing a wide header on the 44th – minute mark.
However, Divock Origi changes the fate of the match as he strikes with an aggressive counterattack, burying a right-ooted shot from a pass by Eden Hazard on the 88th – minute mark of the game.
Belgium’s victory over Russia guaranteed the team’s spot in the second match of the tournament. It also left the other remaining teams — Russia, Algeria, and South Korea — a chance to move on to the next round.
“[Origi] is in a good space right now. He’s 19 years old. It was a bit of a surprise since he was an unknown before I selected him. Now everyone knows who he is,” manager Marc Wilmots of Belgium tells BBC Sports.
“It was a hard game because the Russians were expecting us – the players were tired, it was hot, the Russians were already cramping up after 60 minutes,” he further adds.
Meanwhile, Russia’s manager Fabio Capello laments in CNN: “The truth of the matter is we had chances to win it but we lost. Both teams gave it their all and unfortunately it was Belgium that was able to make it.”
“We have to look forward and I said when we came to play in this World Cup after being absent for 12 years that this will be a great help for us to understand the level we need to be at in future competitions,” he further adds.
Belgium will be pitted against South Korea, who lost to Algeria 2 – 4, at Arena de Sao Paulo. On the other hand, Russia will face Algeria at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba. Both matches will be held on Thursday.