Belgium's knack for a late goal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup continued as Kevin De Bruyne and substitute Romelu Lukaku scored in extra time to see off a stubborn United States.
These teams last met on the very first day of FIFA World Cup football on 13 July 1930 when the US won 3-0, but Belgium had the better of this 90 minutes, making Tim Howard produce 15 saves. De Bruyne eventually put the Red Devils' 32nd shot past Howard before Lukaku made it two and although Julian Green reduced arrears, Marc Wilmots's side will face 1986 semi-final nemeses Argentina in the Brasilia quarter-final on Saturday.
Divock Origi was preferred to Lukaku up front for Belgium and almost immediately justified his selection, breaking clear but being denied by Howard. The US took time to get going; once they did they created chances, Michael Bradley setting up Clint Dempsey, who could not beat Thibaut Courtois.
Just past the half-hour VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach signing Fabian Johnson pulled up with a hamstring injury, giving young DeAndre Yedlin the job of tracking Eden Hazard. The right-back also showed his attacking prowess, sending in a cross that just eluded Dempsey.
Howard had to make a save early in the second half too, tipping over a Dries Mertens header. Belgium then took control and on 56 minutes Origi looped a header on to the crossbar. Jan Vertonghen then made the Everton FC keeper produce another stop.
An Origi run and cross was turned wide by Mertens just before his withdrawal for Kevin Mirallas on the hour. Axel Witsel shot past a post as the US made Belgium work for every opening, and soon after the ball came loose following a Mirallas dribble, but once again Howard was in the way. He also denied Hazard as the clock ticked down.
Lukaku replaced Origi for extra time and it was his run down the right and cut-back that set up De Bruyne, who finally beat Howard. Looking very likely, Lukaku forced Howard to block another shot, and he was also in the way of a Mirallas effort. But just before the first period ended, Lukaku doubled the lead after combining with De Bruyne.
It seemed all over but teenage FC Bayern München forward Julian Green was brought on and with his first touch volleyed in Bradley's through ball. Then Jermaine Jones only just missed the target, before a tremendous US free-kick move ended with Courtois denying Dempsey, as Belgium somehow held on.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.
|1||Thibaut Courtois (GK)||1||Tim Howard (GK)|
|2||Toby Alderweireld||3||Omar Gonzalez|
|4||Vincent Kompany (C)|
|5||Jan Vertonghen||5||Matt Besler|
|6||Axel Witsel||7||DaMarcus Beasley|
|7||Kevin De Bruyne|
|8||Clint Dempsey (C)|
|8||Marouane Fellaini||11||Alejandro Bedoya|
|15||Daniel Van Buyten||20||Geoff Cameron|
|12||Simon Mignolet (GK)||12||Brad Guzan (GK)|
|13||Sammy Bossut (GK)||22||Nick Rimando (GK)|
|3||Thomas Vermaelen||2||Deandre Yedlin|
|18||Nicolas Lombaerts||10||Mikkel Diskerud|
|19||Mousa Dembélé||14||Brad Davis|
|20||Adnan Januzaj||15||Kyle Beckerman|
|23||Laurent Ciman||17||Jozy Altidore|
|Marc Wilmots (BEL)||Jürgen Klinsmann (GER)|
|Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)|
|Redouane Achik (MAR), Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)|
|Norbert Hauata (TAH)|