US plays Belgium for place in World Cup quarters - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

US plays Belgium for place in World Cup quarters

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez). U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann watches a match between Brazil and Chile before a training session in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez). U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann watches a match between Brazil and Chile before a training session in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014.
  • More on WHDH.COMMore>>

  • PHOTOS: World Cup Team USA Local Fan Photos

    PHOTOS: World Cup Team USA Local Fan Photos

    Tuesday, July 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-07-01 20:02:22 GMT
    Are you watching the USA vs Germany in the World Cup today? We want to see your pictures and include them in our gallery.[more]
    Are you watching the USA vs Germany in the World Cup today? We want to see your pictures and include them in our gallery.[more]
  • AP Interactive: World Cup Photos

    Photos from Brazil

    Monday, June 30 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-06-30 18:46:35 GMT
    A photo gallery from AP photojournalists throughout Brazil using Instagram to highlight offbeat, behind the scenes views of soccer’s premier event. Available in English and Spanish.[more]
    A photo gallery from AP photojournalists throughout Brazil using Instagram to highlight offbeat, behind the scenes views of soccer’s premier event. Available in English and Spanish.[more]
  • AP Interactive: Brazil Host Country

    Learn about the host country Brazil

    Monday, June 30 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-06-30 18:46:04 GMT
    An interactive about about Brazil with features on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, including background about venues, a country profile, an economic snapshot and a photo gallery showcasing of some of its most famous landmarks and attractions.[more]
    An interactive about about Brazil with features on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, including background about venues, a country profile, an economic snapshot and a photo gallery showcasing of some of its most famous landmarks and attractions.[more]
  • AP Interactive: World Cup Calendar, Bracket

    Bracket

    Monday, June 30 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-06-30 18:44:17 GMT
    An interactive schedule of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, including a daily calendar of matches, team profiles and a bracket of the elimination stage.[more]
    An interactive schedule of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, including a daily calendar of matches, team profiles and a bracket of the elimination stage.
    [more]
  • AP Interactive: World Cup Venues

    Venues

    Monday, June 30 2014 2:43 PM EDT2014-06-30 18:43:56 GMT
    An Interactive highlights the city locations and stadium venues for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Available in English and Spanish.[more]
    An Interactive highlights the city locations and stadium venues for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Available in English and Spanish.[more]
  • AP Interactive: World Cup Mascots

    Mascots

    Monday, June 30 2014 2:43 PM EDT2014-06-30 18:43:21 GMT
    Interactive looks at the mascots from past World Cups beginning with London's World Cup Willie, a lion from 1964, through Brazil's armadillo Fuleco.[more]
    Interactive looks at the mascots from past World Cups beginning with London's World Cup Willie, a lion from 1964, through Brazil's armadillo Fuleco.[more]
  • AP Interactive: Evolution of the World Cup Ball

    AP Interactive: Evolution of the World Cup Ball

    Thursday, June 12 2014 4:29 PM EDT2014-06-12 20:29:54 GMT
    Video looks at the evolution of the World Cup soccer ball from 1930 to the present.[more]
    Video looks at the evolution of the World Cup soccer ball from 1930 to the present.[more]
MOGI DAS CRUZES, Brazil (AP) - Highly physical, probably defensive and anxiety-ridden for sure.

Not exactly the kind of happy football that fans have enjoyed so far at the World Cup, but it's the likely scenario for Tuesday's second-round match between Belgium and the United States.

The stakes certainly are high enough. Belgium has not reached the quarterfinals since 1986 and the U.S. team has already exceeded expectations by emerging from a tough opening group and wants to ride that momentum.

"Don't be content," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "Nobody can claim that he reached his 100 percent yet."

That was after the Americans played three grueling games in the Amazon jungle and Brazil's tropical northeast coast. The U.S. finished ahead of Portugal and Ghana, taking second place in Group G behind Germany.

Tuesday's winner will face either Argentina or Switzerland in Brasilia on July 5. With support reaching fever pitch back home, American players realize the increased attention that comes with each match is an opportunity not to be missed to promote the sport in the United States.

"We want to obviously do well for ourselves, for our country, but it's a big step for the growth of soccer if we get past Belgium," U.S. defender DaMarcus Beasley said.

Getting past Belgium is no easy task. So far it has conceded only one goal - a penalty at that - in three games. And in Thibaut Courtois, the team has arguably the most exciting young goalkeeper in the world.

While team captain Vincent Kompany has been excellent in the two games he's played, the central defender has been struggling with a recurring groin strain and is a doubt for Tuesday's game.

"We will have to assess it tomorrow, how he moves," said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, adding his recovery was on schedule. "I cannot play him if he is 80 percent only."

Another starter, Thomas Vermaelen, has a hamstring injury and has resumed individual exercises. Whether he can play or not will be another last-minute decision.

Add to that the cracked fibula of right back Anthony Vanden Borre and an abductor strain for Laurent Ciman, and Wilmots could be in trouble.

Belgium has treaded extremely carefully to line up three one-goal victories and emerge from its group with a perfect record. Holding back, avoiding errors and pouncing late has become its mantra, and if fans deplore the lack of joy - too bad. The satisfaction of beautiful football cannot match the thrill of victory.

"If you ask me whether to produce thrills and leave after the group stage, or win all games 1-0 and win the World Cup, I prefer 1-0. That is clear," Wilmots said. "I am there to be a realist. I am not there to please the stadium fans."

And since the U.S. offense has often been anemic, don't bet on much of a goal-fest.

In the last two games, Klinsmann opted for a formation with five midfielders to feed lone striker Clint Dempsey. Jozy Altidore, the top American forward, has been sidelined since straining his left hamstring in the first half against Ghana and has been training on his own.

The U.S. hasn't played Belgium in the World Cup since winning 3-0 in its opening match of the very first tournament in 1930.

"We need to find a way to bottle up their key players," U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said, "but they have so many of them. It will be difficult."

  • Quick Links

  • SportsMore>>

  • Lost Red Sox World Series ring returned by Yankees fan

    Lost Red Sox World Series ring returned by Yankees fan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:28:10 GMT
    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.[more]
    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.[more]
  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:10 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:10:58 GMT
    The NCAA agreed to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes.[more]
    The NCAA agreed to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes.[more]
  • Cabrera, Dickey lead Blue Jays over Red Sox 14-1

    Cabrera, Dickey lead Blue Jays over Red Sox 14-1

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:29:41 GMT
    Melky Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and drove in five runs, R.A. Dickey pithed three-hit ball for seven innings and the Toronto Blue Jays romped past the Boston Red Sox 14-1 on Monday night.The Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games while the Red Sox lost one day after stopping a five-game slide that began in Toronto with three losses.Cabrera homered into Boston's bullpen in right field after Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk. Cabrera made it 9-0 in a nine-run si...[more]
    Melky Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and drove in five runs, R.A. Dickey pithed three-hit ball for seven innings and the Toronto Blue Jays romped past the Boston Red Sox 14-1 on Monday night.The Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games while the Red Sox lost one day after stopping a five-game slide that began in Toronto with three losses.Cabrera homered into Boston's bullpen in right field after Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk. Cabrera made it 9-0 in a nine-run si...[more]
Powered by WorldNow

WHDH TV 7NBC WLVI TV CW56
Sunbeam Television Corp
7 Bulfinch Place
Boston, MA 02114

News Tips: (800) 280-TIPS
Tell Hank: (855) 247-HANK
Corporate Media Services: (800) 642-1551

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WHDH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.