FIFA World Cup: Belgium secures last-16 spot after win over Russia


unnamed (12)[] – Belgium booked their place in the knock-out stages of the FIFA World Cup after second-half substitute Divock Origi secured a 1-0 win over Russia at the Maracana Stadium.

In a largely forgettable game, Dries Mertens was rewarded with a start after his winning goal against Algeria and he looked the most likely to open the scoring for Belgium in the opening 45 minutes, working his way into the area on a number of occasions but often lacking an end product.

Russia were mainly reduced to efforts from distance in the first half, but they came closest to opening the deadlock just before the break when Aleksandr Kokorin glanced a header wide from a pin-point Denis Glushakov cross.

In the second half, substitute Andrei Yeschenko came the closest for Fabio Capello’s side as he drilled a low effort just wide of the post, while Everton’s Kevin Mirallas stepped off the bench to smash the post with a low free-kick.

But 19-year-old striker Origi, who had replaced the frustrated Romelu Lukaku in attack, slammed the ball beyond Igor Akinfeev after some excellent work from Eden Hazard down the left to put Belgium into the last 16.



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