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#Brazinga2014 Match Preview: Belgium v/s USA

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 12:48am IST Updated: Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 12:51am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

  • AFP

The Belgians take on Jürgen Klinsmann's USA in the last round-of-16 match.

Belgium have not been entertaining in the group stages as they struggled in each of their group stage match, but won each of them. In their first match against Algeria, Belgium went down to Sofiane Feghouli's penalty. They equalized the score on the 70th minute as Marouane Fellaini scored within minutes after coming on as a substitute. Ten minutes later, Dries Mertens gave Belgians the lead. Algeria dominated most of the game, but Belgium managed to win. Against Russia, Belgium struggled in the similar manner as they failed to break the dead-lock till the 88th minute, when substitute Divock Origi scored the winner. In their last group match against Korea Republic, Belgium suffered a major setback as Steven Defour was sent off just before the half-time. But Belgium did not give up and scored the winning goal in the 78th minute as Jan Vertonghen put the ball into the net as it came off the Korean goal-keeper.

USA didin't have a great group stage as they managed to grab only four points. Against Ghana, John Brooks Jr scored the late winner for USA, helping them secure their one and only victory of the group stages. In their second match against struggling Portugal, USA were held in a gripping 2-2 draw as Silvestre Varela equalized for Portugal in the last minute of the added time, denying them a much needed victory. In their last group match against Germany, Jürgen Klinsmann's suffered 1-0 loss to Germany. With both Ghana and Portugal underperforming, USA qualified for the Round-of-16 with mere four points.

Here are some of the stats relate to this match (optastats.com): 

• Belgium have progressed from the group stage in six of their last seven appearances at the World Cup.

•    The US have qualified for the knockout stage in three of their previous four World Cups and are aiming to reach the Quarter Final for the first time since 2002.

•    Belgium and USA have met just once before in the World Cup, in what was for both their first World Cup game in 1930. The US ran out 3-0 winners in Montevideo.

•    Belgium have won each of their four games since that clash, keeping a clean sheet on three occasions.

•    In their last meeting in May 2013, the Rode Duivels won 4-2 in Cleveland. Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini both scored for Belgium, while Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron were on the score sheet for the US.

•    Belgium won all three of their group games at a World Cup for the first time. It was also the first time they had won three successive games in the competition.

•    Only Iran (30%) had a lower average possession figure in the group stage than Jurgen Klinsmann's side (39%).

•    The US managed just nine shots on target in their three group games. They are the only side to have qualified without reaching double figures in this regard.

•    The last six Belgian goals at World Cups have come in the closing 20 minutes of games. 

•    USA have conceded in each of their last 16 World Cup games against European opposition. 

•    Only three players (Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Angel Di Maria) completed more dribbles than Eden Hazard in the group stage (13).

•    No player made more blocks than Daniel van Buyten in the group stage (5).

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