Belgium bypass Russian test
Divock Origi (AFP)
Rio de Janeiro - A late goal from Divock Origi fired Belgium into the last 16 of the World Cup here Sunday with a 1-0 win over Russia, whose fate is hanging in the balance.
As it happened: Belgium v Russia
Belgian substitute Origi pounced on 88 minutes to settle a drab Group H encounter at the Maracana Stadium.
The win saw Belgium guaranteed a place in the second round ahead of their final group game against South Korea.
But the defeat leaves Fabio Capello's Russia facing a tense battle to qualify, with only one point from two games.
thrust themselves into pole position to qualify along with Belgium
after thumping a woeful South Korea in Porto Alegre in Group H's other
It was Algeria's first win at a World Cup since the 1982 finals in Spain.
Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou effectively settled the
contest before half-time as Algeria raced into a 3-0 lead.
Son Heung-Min gave Korea a flicker of hope five minutes after half-time, but Yacine Brahimi made it 4-1 on 62 minutes.
Ja-Cheol added a consolation goal for Korea, who must now beat Belgium
in their final match on Thursday to have any chance of making the last
Elsewhere Sunday, Ronaldo and Portugal will be battling to
stay in the competition when they face the United States in the Amazon
city of Manaus.
A disastrous 4-0 thrashing by Germany in their
opening Group G match has plunged Portugal into crisis as they prepare
to face the Americans, surprise 2-1 winners over Ghana in their first
Portugal's preparations for a match they cannot afford to
lose have been disrupted by a suspension to defender Pepe and a
tournament-ending injury to Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao.
forward Hugo Almeida and goalkeeper Rui Patricio also missing, and
Ronaldo looking short of full fitness, Portugal risk joining England,
Spain and Bosnia on the European scrap heap.
"The situation is very simple: either we win or we start to pack our bags," Portugal coach Paulo Bento said.
"It is not a scenario that the Portuguese are used to," he added.
coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be without striker Jozy Altidore, who has a
hamstring injury. Clint Dempsey, who scored the first goal against
Ghana, is likely to wear a protective face mask after breaking his nose
in the first game.
More European teams are battling against the possibility of an early exit as the group phase reaches its climax later this week.
captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said Sunday his team must raise
their game after a shock 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica on Friday in Group D.
The Italians play Uruguay on Tuesday desperate to avoid a repeat of 2010, when they bowed out at the group stage.
need to show some strength and pride and come up with a win. We need
cool heads but also to be highly motivated," Buffon said. "If we end up
going out in the first round, it will be a failure."