World Cup Second Round
Belgium v USA
Tuesday 1st July 2014, 2100 BST, Salvador
Tipped tournament dark horses Belgium come up against a resolute USA side in the second round of the World Cup; givemesport.com takes a look at where the game is likely to be decided.
Road to the Second Round
Belgium topped Group H winning all three of their group games for the first time in their history. Despite such an impressive return, the much fancied red devils failed to impress with their performances coming from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 before successive 1-0 wins over Russia and South Korea.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA side progressed from Group G against the odds defeating Ghana 2-1 before a 2-2 draw with Portugal left them on the brink of qualification. Defeat to Germany in the final group games was enough to see them through in second place behind the Germans.
The US beat Belgium 3-0 in their only previous World Cup meeting at the 1930 tournament although Belgium have won all of the four meetings since then.
The last meeting between the two sides came last year and ended in a 4-2 victory for the Red Devils with a Christian Benteke brace helping Belgium to victory.
15 van Buyten
07 De Bruyne
• Belgium have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup in of their last seven appearances in the competition whilst the US escaped the group in three of their previous four World Cups.
• Belgium won three successive games World Cup games for the first time in their history as they won all three of their group games for the first time.
• The Americans possession of just 39% in the group stage was only better than that of Iran who had 30% over there three games.
• Belgium’s last six goals at World Cups have come in the closing 20 minutes of games.
Belgium will be looking to produce some of the performances that made them so highly favoured by the pundits coming into the tournament and will still be favourites to overcome the USA and progress to the quarter-finals. Klinsmann’s side are no respecters of reputation however and will be up for causing an upset to oust Wilmots team and reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002.
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