Belgium hold on for quarterfinal spot

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate a goal in their round of 16 knockout clash against USA.
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate a goal in their round of 16 knockout clash against USA.
Belgium's Divock Origi throws himself into the goal net, behind USA goalkeeper Tim Howard after narrowly missing a strike.
Belgium's Divock Origi throws himself into the goal net, behind USA goalkeeper Tim Howard after narrowly missing a strike.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne raises his arms in celebration as he watches his strike roll into the net.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne raises his arms in celebration as he watches his strike roll into the net.
Argentina's Angel Di Maria sends his love to the crowd while celebrating scoring against Switzerland in the round of 16.
Argentina's Angel Di Maria sends his love to the crowd while celebrating scoring against Switzerland in the round of 16.
Switzerland's Valon Behrami jumps for the ball next to Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain.
Switzerland's Valon Behrami jumps for the ball next to Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain.
Argentina's Marcos Rojo jostles with Switzerland's Josif Drmic for possession in Sao Paulo.
Argentina's Marcos Rojo jostles with Switzerland's Josif Drmic for possession in Sao Paulo.
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his side's second goal during extra time against Algeria at the World Cup.
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his side's second goal during extra time against Algeria at the World Cup.
Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli is consoled by teammate Djamel Mesbah (back) after their loss to Germany at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli is consoled by teammate Djamel Mesbah (back) after their loss to Germany at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Yacine Brahimi of Algeria controls the ball against Mesut Oezil (left) and Sami Khedira of Germany.
Yacine Brahimi of Algeria controls the ball against Mesut Oezil (left) and Sami Khedira of Germany.
Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger (left) fights for the ball with Algeria's Mehdi Lacen during extra time round of 16 game at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger (left) fights for the ball with Algeria's Mehdi Lacen during extra time round of 16 game at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker of Germany celebrate their team's second goal in extra time against Algeria.
Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker of Germany celebrate their team's second goal in extra time against Algeria.
Thomas Mueller of Germany attempts a shot against Rais M'Bolhi of Algeria during the round of 16 match between Germany and Algeria at Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Thomas Mueller of Germany attempts a shot against Rais M'Bolhi of Algeria during the round of 16 match between Germany and Algeria at Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
France's Blaise Matuidi (14) and Mathieu Valbuena celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
France's Blaise Matuidi (14) and Mathieu Valbuena celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
France's Raphael Varane is hit by the ball in the face beside Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike (left).
France's Raphael Varane is hit by the ball in the face beside Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike (left).
John Obi Mikel of Nigeria challenges Paul Pogba of France during their round of 16 match at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
John Obi Mikel of Nigeria challenges Paul Pogba of France during their round of 16 match at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
France's Mathieu Valbuena and Rio Mavuba (right) celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria.
France's Mathieu Valbuena and Rio Mavuba (right) celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria.
Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama (right) checks on teammate Ogenyi Onazi as he lies on the pitch after a challenge against France.
Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama (right) checks on teammate Ogenyi Onazi as he lies on the pitch after a challenge against France.
Raphael Varane of France controls the ball against Ahmed Musa of Nigeria during their clash at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Raphael Varane of France controls the ball against Ahmed Musa of Nigeria during their clash at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda celebrates with team-mates after defeating Greece in a penalty shootout.
Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda celebrates with team-mates after defeating Greece in a penalty shootout.
Costa Rica’s Michael Umana fires the winning penalty past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis during the penalty shootout.
Costa Rica’s Michael Umana fires the winning penalty past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis during the penalty shootout.
Greek midfielder Theofanis Gekas sees his penalty kick saved by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Greek midfielder Theofanis Gekas sees his penalty kick saved by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Greece's Konstantinos Manolas compete for the ball.
Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Greece's Konstantinos Manolas compete for the ball.
Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte (second left) is shown a red card after his second bookable offence by referee Benjamin Williams.
Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte (second left) is shown a red card after his second bookable offence by referee Benjamin Williams.
Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz (second right) scores his team's first goal past Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz (second right) scores his team's first goal past Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates scoring the opening goal in their second round match with Greece in Recife.
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates scoring the opening goal in their second round match with Greece in Recife.
Greece striker Giorgos Samaras controls the ball under the close attentions of Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte.
Greece striker Giorgos Samaras controls the ball under the close attentions of Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte.
Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa slides in to halt the progress of Greece's Jose Cholevas.
Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa slides in to halt the progress of Greece's Jose Cholevas.
Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates scoring his side's winning goal from the penalty spot in injury time.
Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates scoring his side's winning goal from the penalty spot in injury time.
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder fires his side's equaliser past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder fires his side's equaliser past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Holland's Dirk Kuyt battles for the ball with Mexico's Hector Herrera during their second round match in Fortaleza.
Holland's Dirk Kuyt battles for the ball with Mexico's Hector Herrera during their second round match in Fortaleza.
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie brings the ball under control.
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie brings the ball under control.
Giovani dos Santos wheels away after putting Mexico 1-0 up against the Netherlands.
Giovani dos Santos wheels away after putting Mexico 1-0 up against the Netherlands.
Dutch winger Arjen Robben rides the tackle of Mexico captain Rafael Marquez during his side's 2-1 win.
Dutch winger Arjen Robben rides the tackle of Mexico captain Rafael Marquez during his side's 2-1 win.
Uruguay's Alvaro Gonzalez challenges Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Uruguay's Alvaro Gonzalez challenges Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez tackles Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match in Rio de Janeiro.
Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez tackles Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match in Rio de Janeiro.
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez scores his second goal past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to put Colombia 2-0 up.
James Rodriguez scores his second goal past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to put Colombia 2-0 up.
James Rodriguez celebrates scoring his and Colombia's second goal with his team-mates.
James Rodriguez celebrates scoring his and Colombia's second goal with his team-mates.
Brazilian players swarm to goalkeeper Julio Cesar after defeating Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
Brazilian players swarm to goalkeeper Julio Cesar after defeating Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
Neymar puts a penalty shot past Claudio Bravo and into the net, the winning goal in the penalty shootout.
Neymar puts a penalty shot past Claudio Bravo and into the net, the winning goal in the penalty shootout.
Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar makes one of his two saves in the penalty shootout.
Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar makes one of his two saves in the penalty shootout.
A nervous bunch of Chilean players line up ahead of the penalty shootout.
A nervous bunch of Chilean players line up ahead of the penalty shootout.
Hulk appeals to the assistant referee after having a goal for Brazil ruled out for a handball.
Hulk appeals to the assistant referee after having a goal for Brazil ruled out for a handball.
Brazil's Dani Alves makes a slide-tackle on Chile's Eugenio Mena.
Brazil's Dani Alves makes a slide-tackle on Chile's Eugenio Mena.
Chile's Arturo Vidal steals a pass from in front of Brazil's Neymar.
Chile's Arturo Vidal steals a pass from in front of Brazil's Neymar.
Chile's Alexis Sanchez waits for team-mates as he celebrates his first-half goal against Brazil.
Chile's Alexis Sanchez waits for team-mates as he celebrates his first-half goal against Brazil.
David Luiz looks skyward in celebration of Brazil's first goal, which was later ruled an own-goal.
David Luiz looks skyward in celebration of Brazil's first goal, which was later ruled an own-goal.
Brazil's Neymar unsuccessfully appeals to referee Howard Webb for a foul.
Brazil's Neymar unsuccessfully appeals to referee Howard Webb for a foul.

Extra-time goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku sealed a thrilling 2-1 victory for Belgium over a spirited United States today, setting up a World Cup quarterfinal clash with Argentina.

After dominating normal time and being frustrated by an inspired Tim Howard in the US goal, De Bruyne struck in the 93rd minute, collecting a loose ball before turning and firing home an angled shot from seven metres.

In a pulsating extra-time, substitute striker Lukaku powered home a second on 105 minutes after a clever De Bruyne pass before Julian Green's neat volley ensured a tense finish in which Clint Dempsey almost sneaked an equaliser.

SCORERS UNITE: Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate after Belgium beat USA in their World Cup round of 16 match.
SCORERS UNITE: Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate after Belgium beat USA in their World Cup round of 16 match.

''We had about 15 chances, we were controlling the game, I think it [the win] is largely deserved even though at the end we conceded one,'' Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said.

''My players reached their limits to qualify. I said fresh legs would be important today and that is how it was. Now the whole of Belgium can celebrate.''

It could have been very different for the Belgians had US substitute Chris Wondolowski not horribly skewed wide from five metres in the dying seconds of regulation time to seal what would have been a smash and grab victory.

COOL WINNER: Axel Witsel waves to the crowd after Belgium beat USA.
COOL WINNER: Axel Witsel waves to the crowd after Belgium beat USA.

''It was heart-breaking. We left it all out there, but we lost to a really good team. It hurts, but hats off to Belgium they were fantastic,'' Howard said.

''Sometimes when you give your best it doesn't come off. We put them under real pressure at the end and fell short, but it was an unbelievable night and we have an incredible group of players.''

Belgium enjoyed nearly all the possession and looked the more dangerous side throughout as the US were forced to set up camp outside their own penalty area and look to attack on the break.

On his first start in Brazil, Belgium striker Divock Origi was in on goal inside 40 seconds, but his low drive was parried away for a corner by Howard, while the lively De Bruyne should have done better after 23 minutes having found space in the box.

TAME VOLLEY

Dempsey's tame volley represented the best chance for the Americans in the first half and they were forced to dig deep again after the interval to cope with another Belgian onslaught.

Dries Mertens and Jan Vertonghen tested Howard before Origi went close with a header that hit the crossbar. Howard was again on hand to repel Kevin Mirallas and he dealt with two more stinging Origi shots and a Vincent Kompany effort.

With extra time moments away, United States' Wondolowski missed a glorious chance that they would come to rue.

All Belgium's goals in Brazil had come after the 70th- minute mark and their persistence finally paid off in extra time when De Bruyne fired home after Lukaku raced down the right wing and centred.

De Bruyne returned the favour on 105 minutes, teeing up the frontman to power home a second which sparked a thrilling finale.

Roared on by deafening chants of 'USA', Juergen Klinsmann's side summoned the energy to raise American hopes.

Midfielder Green met a chipped Michael Bradley pass to volley home two minutes later and Dempsey almost forced penalties, only for his clever set-piece effort to be foiled by Thibaut Courtois.

The win was Belgium's fourth in four games in Brazil and sealed their first World Cup quarterfinal appearance since 1986. They will play Argentina on Sunday.  

 

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