Belgium 2, USA 1: 2014 FIFA World Cup | Round of 16 Match Recap
For the second consecutive World Cup, the US national team has bowed out of the World Cup in the Round of 16.
Also for the second time in a row, they were undone by a goal in the third minute of extratime. Even though it wasn’t the game-winner, Kevin De Bruyne’s goal broke the stalemate to put Belgium up 1-0.
Romelu Lukaku added a second 12 minutes later to put his team up 2-0. From there USA mounted a roaring attack which was continued after a 107th minute goal from youngster Julian Green. In the end, the USMNT’s advances were rebuffed and the Red Devils advanced.
They will meet Argentina in Brasilia on Saturday.
DE BRUYNE DELIGHT: The goal finally came for the Red Devils in the 93rd minute when Romelu Lukaku overpowered Matt Besler near the sideline, causing the Sporting Kansas City to slip. The hulking Belgian drove the ball towards goal and centered it. After Omar Gonzalez failed to clear it, De Bruyne was able to smoothly place it in the far corner.
LUKAKU SHOWS UP: Lukaku was left out of the last two starting lineups by manager Marc Wilmots but his spark at the start of extratime gave Belgium exactly what they needed. After helping to create the first goal, Lukaku finished off a strong counter attack to put the Belgians up 2-0.
TEEN DREAM: The US had their own break through after Belgium’s second goal. With the opposing team sitting back, Michael Bradley was able to loft a ball over the backline to the newly inserted Green. The 19-year-old hit the ball one-time, placing it into the side netting after a touch from Thibaut Courtois.
I just died. I am die.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) July 1, 2014
WONDO CAUGHT OUT: Belgium absolutely dominated the second half taking 22 shots, eight of which were on target, to the USA’s four. The Americans' best chance came in the 92nd minute when Chris Wondolowski saw the ball fall in front of him from eight yards out. He fluffed the chance but it turned out he was called offside by the assistant referee.
Wondo with a golden chance that he blows, and it’s incorrectly waved offside.— Dan Dickinson (@GothamistDan) July 1, 2014
MERSEYSIDE DUEL: One of the best chances of the game came in the 76th minute after Eden Hazard tackled the ball off of DeAndre Yedlin. The Chelsea player quickly moved the ball down the field to Divock Origi who slipped Kevin Mirallas through to Tim Howard 1-v-1. Mirallas went for the far corner but Howard was able to make an incredible kick save to keep the ball from making it through.
I just tried to follow Tim Howard on twitter. Got blocked.— Brent Celek (@BrentCelek) July 1, 2014
HALFTIME TALK: The Red Devils came out on fire to start the second half controlling 66 percent of the possession and creating multiple quality chances. The best chance came in the 55th minute when Divock Origi had a header go off the crossbar.
Attacking-third touches in the first 10 minutes of the second half: Belgium 34, #USMNT 2.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) July 1, 2014
FABJO NO-GO: The US took a blow in the 32nd minute when Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to take off Fabian Johnson, arguably the team’s best player through three games, due to a hamstring strain. Yedlin replaced him and immediately was a spark for the US down the right side creating multiple chances using his speed and crossing ability. He was also up to the task when defending superstar Hazard 1-v-1.
DeAndre Yedlin vs Eden Hazard. What dreams are made of...— Matthew Tomaszewicz (@shinguardian) July 1, 2014
DEVIL PUSH: It was a fairly even first half, with the teams splitting possession almost 50/50, but Belgium had the two best chances within two minutes. In the 23rd minute Graham Zusi, who had several poor touches in the first half, was tackled off the ball by Jan Vertonghen, resulting in a 5 on 3 rush for the Red Devils. It resulted in a De Bruyne shot off target but the Belgians came back two minutes later when DaMarcus Beasley was forced to intercept a ball before Marouane Fellaini could tap it into the back of the net.
DaMarcus Beasley putting on the best #USMNT LB performance since Frankie Hedjuk in 2002— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) July 1, 2014
LINEUP SURPRISES: As with every game so far, Klinsmann made some changes to his starting lineup for this match. Kyle Beckerman was benched in favor of the more athletic Geoff Cameron, who made his first appearance in the midfield at the World Cup. Also, even though he was available, Jozy Altidore was left on the bench to start the game. For the Belgium side, Vincent Kompany was in the starting XI despite a nagging groin strain.
Cameron in the US midfield has had success before. Was terrific there in 2-0 WCQ qualifying win vs Panama in Seattle last year.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 1, 2014
MAN OF THE MATCH: Tim Howard, goalkeeper, USA. Yes his team lost, but he made 15 saves, most in a World Cup match since 1966. Enough said.