Belgium will be facing USA in the remaining World Cup last 16 match to decide who’s advancing to the quarters.
World Cup last 16 matches end tonight with Belgium v USA clash. The teams will contest the last remaining spot in the quarter-finals and the winner will most probably be facing Argentina there. Then there are two days of rest for the teams and fans, and football action resumes on Friday.
Road to the knockouts
Belgium and USA will contest the last remaining quarter-final spot tonight
• Online sportsbooks in Belgium favor Les Diables Rouges to win
• The winner of tonight’s fixture will most probably be facing Argentina next
• Marc Wilmots has to deal with lots of injuries and one suspension
Les Diables Rouge collected all 9 points out of nine, surviving a scare against Algeria, beating Russia in the last minutes, and winning against South Korea after being reduced to 10 men. Naturally, their progress was very welcomed by punters betting under Belgian gambling laws, as it allowed them to collect nice winnings.
Many World Cup 2014 betting guides have named Belgium as dark horses of this World Cup capable of even winning the tournament. So far Marc Wilmots’ men have fulfilled everyone’s expectations, but it remains to be seen just how far they can go in Brazil.
USA have exceeded expectations by making it through to the last 16 despite losing out to Germany. Their win over Ghana and a tie with Portugal allowed them to collect enough points to make it to the knockouts ahead of the Portuguese side on goal difference.
The upcoming match will surely attract lots of attention from fans on both sides of the ocean and from punters at online sportsbooks in Belgium. Both teams have scored 4 goals each at the group stage, and will be looking for an early goal tonight in order to provide added pressure on the opponent.
Quotes from the managers
Belgian coach, Marc Wilmots, had the following comments: “It’s no easy task to finish the group stage with nine points. It’s a truly historic achievement for Belgium, and I’d like to congratulate the staff and all the players. We’re here to win, not to play beautiful football, and we’ve accomplished our mission.”
He went on to add: “My players will give everything for Belgium Physically they are very strong. We are preparing for a war. My players will be fresh when they face the United States and that will be important because the Americans are very fit and athletic.”
Jurgen Klinsmann for USA also commented the upcoming match: “We have enough confidence now going into this game – a very special one, a knockout game – to say we are able to beat them. Belgium are one of the secret favorites in this World Cup because of the players, individual players, that they have.”
He added: “We have absolutely no fear at all. We feel like we are in a position now to challenge. We believe we have built a foundation in our team that we are able to beat them.”
Betting on the game and the teams’ form
Belgium boast a wonderful form with W W W W W including the 1-0 win over South Korea in their last match. USA, however, are a bit worse in this respect with W W W D L including their loss to Germany in the last group match.
Anthony Vanden Borre has an injured ankle and will not be playing tonight for sure, also doubtful are Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen. Marc Wilmots will not be relying on Steven Defour either, due to suspension. Belgian line-up will probably look like this: Courtois, Van Buyten, Lombaerts, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Witsel, Mirallas, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Hazard, and Lukaku.
No one is suspended on team USA, and there are no major injuries, Jurgen Klinsmann should be concerned with, but Jozy Altidore’s participation is in doubt, he picked up a hamstring injury. Americans will most probably be using the following men tonight: Howard, Johnson, Besler, Beasley, Gonzalez, Bedoya, Beckerman, Jones, Zusi, Bradley, and Dempsey.
Les Diables Rouges are of course the favorites in the eyes of those who bet on sports in Belgium. Online sportsbooks concur with favorable 2.00 odds compared to a line of 4.50 for the Americans and 3.30 for the tie. The game is expected to be tight, and that’s why a 1-1 tie after 90 minutes or 1-0 for Belgium are the most anticipated results paying at 6.00. Belgian 2-0 win pays at 8.00, while a 1-0 score for USA will bring a 10.00 payout.
Lukaku is favored to strike first with 4.75 odds from Bet365, followed by Hazard at 7.50. Origi, De Bruyne, and Mirallas all received equal odds of 8.00 to open the scoresheet. As for the Americans, Dempsey is leading the way with 9.00 odds to find the back of the net first. Johannsson is next with 9.50 and Wondolowski got a line of 11.00 to score first.
~ The match went into extra time when Kevin De Bruyne found the back of the net in the 93rd minute for Belgium, and Romelu Lukaku made it 2-0 in the 105th minute. Team USA never gave up and pulled one goal back with a decent effort by Julian Green in 107th minute, but it was already too late. Despite Jurgen Klinsmann’s protests that not enough time was added to the second extra time, the whistle blew and Belgium were off to meet Argentina in the quarter-final. ~