Belgium hold on for quarterfinal spot

18:09, Jul 02 2014
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar unsuccessfully appeals to referee Howard Webb for a foul.
Dani Alves
Brazil's Dani Alves makes a slide-tackle on Chile's Eugenio Mena.
Hulk
Hulk appeals to the assistant referee after having a goal for Brazil ruled out for a handball.
Alexis Sanchez
Chile's Alexis Sanchez waits for team-mates as he celebrates his first-half goal against Brazil.
David Luiz
David Luiz looks skyward in celebration of Brazil's first goal, which was later ruled an own-goal.
Arturo Vidal
Chile's Arturo Vidal steals a pass from in front of Brazil's Neymar.
Julio Cesar
Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar makes one of his two saves in the penalty shootout.
Chile team
A nervous bunch of Chilean players line up ahead of the penalty shootout.
Julio Cesar
Brazilian players swarm to goalkeeper Julio Cesar after defeating Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
Neymar
Neymar puts a penalty shot past Claudio Bravo and into the net, the winning goal in the penalty shootout.
Dirk Kuyt
Holland's Dirk Kuyt battles for the ball with Mexico's Hector Herrera during their second round match in Fortaleza.
 Arjen Robben
Dutch winger Arjen Robben rides the tackle of Mexico captain Rafael Marquez during his side's 2-1 win.
 Arjen Robben
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder fires his side's equaliser past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Robin van Persie
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie brings the ball under control.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates scoring his side's winning goal from the penalty spot in injury time.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Giovani dos Santos wheels away after putting Mexico 1-0 up against the Netherlands.
Alvaro Gonzalez
Uruguay's Alvaro Gonzalez challenges Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez scores his second goal past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to put Colombia 2-0 up.
Cristian Rodriguez
Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez tackles Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match in Rio de Janeiro.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez celebrates scoring his and Colombia's second goal with his team-mates.
Alexander Mejia
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
Bryan Ruiz
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates scoring the opening goal in their second round match with Greece in Recife.
Joel Campbell
Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Greece's Konstantinos Manolas compete for the ball.
Oscar Duarte
Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte (second left) is shown a red card after his second bookable offence by referee Benjamin Williams.
Bryan Ruiz
Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz (second right) scores his team's first goal past Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Cristian Gamboa
Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa slides in to halt the progress of Greece's Jose Cholevas.
Giorgos Samaras
Greece striker Giorgos Samaras controls the ball under the close attentions of Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte.
Theofanis Gekas
Greek midfielder Theofanis Gekas sees his penalty kick saved by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Michael Umana
Costa Rica’s Michael Umana fires the winning penalty past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis during the penalty shootout.
Yeltsin Tejeda
Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda celebrates with team-mates after defeating Greece in a penalty shootout.
Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane of France controls the ball against Ahmed Musa of Nigeria during their clash at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Vincent Enyeama
Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama (right) checks on teammate Ogenyi Onazi as he lies on the pitch after a challenge against France.
Blaise Matuidi
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.
Rio Mavuba
France's Mathieu Valbuena and Rio Mavuba (right) celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria.
John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel of Nigeria challenges Paul Pogba of France during their round of 16 match at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Raphael Varane
France's Raphael Varane is hit by the ball in the face beside Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike (left).
Sofiane Feghouli
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.
Thomas Mueller
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.
Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker of Germany celebrate their team's second goal in extra time against Algeria.
Mesut Ozil
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his side's second goal during extra time against Algeria at the World Cup.
Mehdi Lacen
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.
Yacine Brahimi
Yacine Brahimi of Algeria controls the ball against Mesut Oezil (left) and Sami Khedira of Germany.
Marcos Rojo and Josif Drmic
Argentina's Marcos Rojo jostles with Switzerland's Josif Drmic for possession in Sao Paulo.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne raises his arms in celebration as he watches his strike roll into the net.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate a goal in their round of 16 knockout clash against USA.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Divock Origi throws himself into the goal net, behind USA goalkeeper Tim Howard after narrowly missing a strike.
Angel Di Maria
Argentina's Angel Di Maria sends his love to the crowd while celebrating scoring against Switzerland in the round of 16.
Angel Di Maria
Switzerland's Valon Behrami jumps for the ball next to Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain.

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.

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne
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.

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Axel Witsel
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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