November 26, 2014
Belgium snatch late win to reach last 16
Teenager Divock Origi became the youngest player to score in this World Cup when he cracked in an 88th-minute winner to give Belgium a 1-0 victory over Russia and a place in the last 16.
Origi's well-placed shot came after a dangerous jinking run and cutback from the left by Eden Hazard and it settled an otherwise turgid game during which the 73,000 fans regularly booed both teams.
The 19-year-old's goal came just four minutes after Kevin Mirallas crashed a free kick against the base of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev's right-hand post to give Belgium six points from two games.
"It was an important goal but I thought we created it as a team," Origi said in a television interview. "I thought we showed today that we are mentally strong."
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots said he gambled on Origi who plays for French club Lille.
"He's in a good space right now, he's 19 years old. It was a bit of a surprise since he was an unknown before I selected him. Now everyone knows who he is.
"It was a hard game because the Russians were expecting us - the players were tired, it was hot, the Russians were already cramping up after 60 minutes.
"It was not an easy match but I think we deserved to win it."
Russia coach Fabio Capello thought it was a decent game.
"The match was a really good one, fast, strong," he said. "I'm disappointed for the players because they played a really good game."