Belgium defeats U.S. 2-1 in extra time

FIFA World Cup

Belgium defeats U.S. 2-1 in extra time

Posted: Updated:
AP photo AP photo
United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard gestures to his teammates after making a save during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard gestures to his teammates after making a save during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

By RAF CASERT | AP Sports Writer

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne turned a heroic night for U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard into defeat on Tuesday with an extra-time goal and an assist that gave Belgium a 2-1 victory and a quarterfinal match against Lionel Messi and Argentina.

With three extra-time goals in a thrilling match, De Bruyne and substitute Romelu Lukaku gave Belgium a big lead before Julian Green closed the gap with 12 minutes to go.

"For my heart, please don't give me too many games like this," said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, who must now get his team ready to face Argentina in Brasilia on Saturday.

Belgium's unyielding attacks for 90 minutes on Tuesday only highlighted the great performance of the 35-year-old Howard, but the goalkeeper's teammates finally wilted in the evening heat once extra time came.

"They were all on their limit," United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "(Howard) had an absolutely amazing match."

Three minutes in, Lukaku found space on the right and passed into the center. At first, the ball was poked out before De Bruyne gained possession. Belgium's creative genius still had the energy for a sharp turn and his low shot finally missed the yellow foot of Howard and settled inside the post.

Realizing he had finally been beaten, Howard fell back on the grass almost in slow-motion, arms and legs outstretched and eyes staring up into the darkness over the Arena Fonte Nova. The best man of the match turned out to be on the losing side.

"The levee is going to break at some point," said Howard, who plays for Everton in the Premier League.

In the 105th minute, Belgium looked like it had put the game away. De Bruyne launched Lukaku into open space on the left and the Everton striker beat his club teammate with a drive to the near post.

It wasn't over on a sticky, anxiety-ridden night, however. The Americans got late hope when Green pulled one back in the 107th minute with a sterling volley on the turn that Thibaut Courtois could only touch before he saw it fly into his net.

Suddenly, Klinsmann started wildly shouting with flailing arms "Come on, come on," and there was a new team on the field.

"It was a game that just went to the extreme," Klinsmann said.

Now, it was the Belgium's turn to be caught flat-footed.

With six minutes to go, the Americans almost got the equalizer. A free kick move set Clint Dempsey free in the center with only Courtois to beat. But the Belgium keeper proved he is one of the world's best by spreading his giant body to smother the shot.

"The second extra time was a total turnaround. Suddenly, they had all the energy," De Bruyne said.

With almost no work at all in 120 minutes, Courtois turned out to be more decisive than Howard had been.

With waves of chants of "USA, USA" echoing around the 48,000-seat stadium, the reinvigorated Americans kept searching for a late goal right up until the final whistle.

It never came.

"We just needed a little bit more luck," Klinsmann said.

Belgium had been criticized for its low scoring rate at the World Cup but it was not for want of trying on Tuesday. The team had 27 shots on Howard, compared to nine for the United States.

Amazingly, in the most lopsided knockout game so far, victory came preciously close for the Americans with seconds to go in regulation time when a goalmouth scramble brought the ball to Chris Wondolowski, who skied the ball over from the six-meter line.

It always was going to be a physical battle between the two teams, but Belgium was the only one adding creative touches, underscoring their individual class.

When U.S. President Obama started watching the game in the second half, all he could see was increasing one-way traffic facing his team. Divock Origi hit the bar with a header in the second half, two players totally missed the ball for what would have been a tap in goal and Howard swatted away ever more balls.

"Now," Wilmots said, "Belgium can celebrate."

___

Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:30:48 GMT
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:20:19 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:48:14 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices