Belgium wary of Germans

2014-06-23 12:27
Marc Wilmots (AFP)

Cape Town - Belgium secured passage to the knock-out stage of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Russia Sunday but hope to make history - and do themselves a favour - with another win over South Korea on Thursday.

Never before have Belgium won all three group matches at a World Cup, a record which is in their sights against the Koreans.

But even avoiding defeat in that match would ensure they top the group and, in all probability, avoid a tough clash with Germany in the last 16. "If possible we will try to avoid Germany," said defender Daniel van Buyten, who plays his club football in that country with Bayern Munich. "I think everyone who knows a little about football would not like to play against Germany," he added.

"For me they are one of the favourites in this tournament. Belgium, with a star-studded squad, were also tipped by many to make a good impression on the competition. But despite winning both games so far, they have not yet found top form.

"We cannot show champagne football every time," said coach Marc Wilmots. All three of Belgium's goals have come from substitutes - showing strength in depth but also hinting that the strongest starting eleven has not been found.

Germany met Belgium in the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup and progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory.

While some in the Belgian camp are anxious to avoid a rematch 20 years later, others are in a more bullish mood.

"We know that Germany has a really good team but we fear no one," said Kevin de Bruyne.

More In This Category

Alejandro Sabella, who steered Argentina to the SWC final, has decided to quit as coach, Argentine has media reported.
The Japanese referee whose decisions in the opening match of the SWC triggered a storm of controversy has hit back at critics.
Brazilian superstar Neymar's brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 percent the level of amateur players.
England's dismal SWC campaign in Brazil was doubly disappointing for Britain's pub operators, prompting soccer fans to stay at home.
Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk