5 Observations From Belgium 1-0 Russia World Cup Game

As it turns out Origi could be in line for his first start of the World Cup against South Korea.  His pace is a weapon that Wilmots can utilize, indeed it was Origi’s run in the first game against Algeria, which took away a defender away from Dries Mertens and allowed the winger time to score the winner.

Origi was in the right place at the right time against Russia to slam home the vital goal.  After his work against Algeria and Russia the teenager’s prospects for a start in the next game look pretty good indeed.

 

3. Quality not quantity

Despite Belgium shading possession it was the Russians who broke dangerously and with purpose.  Russia was unlucky not to win a penalty when Toby Alderweireld caught Maksim Kanunnikov just inside the box.  They should have been ahead when Alexandr Korkorin missed a gilt edged chance at the end of the first half heading an uncontested header wide from eight yards out.

As has been a theme in this World Cup possession has not been seen as vital on the proviso that when the defending team do win the ball they counter directly and with pace.

Capello will note that the Russians were beaten at their own game as a swift counter attack from Belgium undid his side.  He will also rue the lack of cutting edge displayed by his team as they should have been a couple of goals up rather than being stunned by a late Belgian winner.

 

4. Improvements are required

To put it kindly this match was not a classic.  Maybe it shouldn’t have come as too much as a surprise.  Russia under Capello is extremely difficult to beat and hard to score against.  It took a freak goal from Lee Keun-Ho to breach the Russian net in the last game and a moment of Hazard brilliance to open them up in this match.

However there can be no room for error when setting up in that manner especially if there’s a lack of a clinical edge going forward.  Is Capello being too conservative and not encouraging his team to play a more attacking game?  That could work against him, as Russia will need a result in their final match and for that to happen they need to force the play.

Belgium for their part did not look like a team who could challenge for the World Cup.    Though they possess a talented group of individuals the Red Devils just don’t inspire as a unit yet.  If Wilmots can get the Belgians to gel then he’ll have a formidable force at his disposal but it is up to him to find the formula that makes this squad click.

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