Belgium lived on the edge in each match but advanced to face the U.S. in the World Cup knockout round on the backs of its substitutes.
Late goals by reserves powered Belgium past Algeria and Russia. Then a Jan Vertonghen goal against South Korea on Thursday gave the Belgians a 1-0 victory and the No. 1 seed coming out of Group H play.
Belgium is set to face the U.S., which advanced despite a 1-0 loss to Germany on Thursday. The U.S. edged Portugal on goal differential.
Belgium won its opener against Algeria, 2-1. The Algerians took a surprise 1-0 lead on a penalty kick from Sofiane Feghouli in the 25th minute..
Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini netted the equalizer in the 70th minute, just five minutes after entering the game. Dries Mertens entered in the 46th minute and scored the game-winner in the 80th minute.
A 1-0 win over Russia secured Belgium’s passage to the next round. Nineteen-year-old Divock Origi won the game for Belgium in the 88th minute. He is the first teenager to score at the World Cup since Argentina's Lionel Messi in 2006. Origi subbed in during the 57th minute.
On Thursday against South Korea, Belgium was locked in a scoreless tie, and was playing a man down after Steven Defour received a red card just before halftime, before Vertonghen scored the game's only goal in the 77th minute.
Belgium plays the U.S. in the round of 16 on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Pacfic time in Salvador, Brazil.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun