South Korea 0 Belgium 1: Three talking points as Liverpool target impresses
South Korea 0 Belgium 1: Three talking points as Divock Origi impresses for the Red Devils once again
Belgium’s defence means they will be a match for anyone
Given Marc Wilmots’ decision to rest most of his forwards, it is hard to make too much of a judgement on Belgium as an attacking force tonight, but again they were resolute defensively. The Red Devils have conceded just one goal in the tournament – a Sofiane Feghouli penalty against Algeria – and even with 10 men they never looked in danger of conceding against South Korea. Admittedly, they are yet to face a particularly dangerous opponent, but the same can be said of Brazil, Germany and Argentina – all of whom have conceded sloppy goals. Belgium are expected to be bolstered by the return of captain Vincent Kompany for the next match and if they can remain solid at the back, they know they have the attacking weapons to cause real damage.
Asia’s winless performance at this World Cup
Asian football appears to have gone backwards. When South Korea made it to the semi-finals in 2002, alongside Japan who reached the last 16, it looked like Asian football was on the up. The two countries then got through to the first knockout round four years ago, but it’s been a miserable tournament for the Asian countries this time around. Korea and Japan both looked willing but limited, and each finished bottom of their groups without a win to their name. Iran were hard to break down against Argentina but one goal from three games left them winless and bottom of Group F. Australia, who play in the Asian Football Confederation, also failed to register a win and propped up Group B, to complete an unwanted clean sweep for the Asian nations.
Divock Origi looks set to be a star
There was a swagger to the 19-year-old as soon as he came on as a 60th-minute substitute. The youngster was clearly buoyed by his winning goal against Russia and was all tricks and flicks, as he sauntered past tiring Korean defenders. The striker is not just a show-pony though and instantly gave his side more cutting edge. He had already fired a couple of warning shots when his effort was parried by Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu to present Jan Vertonghen with a tap-in. Wilmots has a big decision whether to start him against the USA on Tuesday, and there already look to be a few Premier League clubs – Liverpool and Tottenham among them – with a decision to make on whether to swoop for the Lille forward.