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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK

Belgium knock out Russia

Belgium 3-2 Russia

Belgium sent Russia crashing out of the World Cup with a thrilling win in Shizuoka and booked themselves a mouthwatering second-round tie with Brazil.

Two late goals from Marc Wilmots and Wesley Sonck secured the victory Belgium needed to go through to the last 16.

Johan Walem had given Belgium a deserved first-half lead with a superbly-taken free-kick, but Russia hit back after the interval as Vladimir Beschastnykh restored parity.

GRAPHIC ANALYSIS

Beschastnykh then missed an excellent chance to extend Russia's advantage and Belgium seized their chance.

Sonck and Wilmots were the heroes, scoring one apiece in the space of four minutes in the closing stages.

And despite a dramatic onslaught that saw Dimtry Sychev pull another one back for Russia, the Red Devils emerged victorious.

In Group H's other game, Japan beat Tunisia and the co-hosts will now play Turkey on Tuesday.

MATCH FACTS

  • 7 mins: Johan Walem scores with a superb free-kick
  • 52 mins: Vladimir Beschastnykh equalises for Russia
  • 78 mins: Wesley Sonck puts Belgium back in front
  • 82 mins: Marc Wilmots scores Belgium's third
  • 89 mins: Dimtry Sychev pulls one back for Russia
  • With the onus on Belgium to seek out a win, Robert Waseige's side started positively.

    More fluid in attack, Wilmots and Mbo Mpenza posed an immediate threat to a shaky Russian defence.

    Indeed, an untidy challenge by Andrei Solomatin on Wilmots paved the way for Belgium's opener on seven minutes.

    The dimunitive Walem struck a sweet free-kick past a poorly-erected wall and a static Ruslan Nigmatullin into the top left-hand corner.

    Given that Russia needed just a draw to avoid elimination from the tournament, the anticipated first-half fightback simply did not materialise.

    " It is with great pride, great satisfaction that we will meet the eternal, great Brazil "
    Belgium coach Robert Waseige

    That it took them 18 minutes to register their first real chance said much about a Russian side bereft of ideas or purpose.

    A mazy run by Dmitry Alenchev gave Solomatin sight of the Belgium goal, but his shot was blocked.

    Wilmots was the catalyst for Belgium's best moves. He combined directness with deftness and, but for better finishing, the Red Devils should have gone into the break 3-0 up.

    Gert Verheyen squandered two excellent chances, both created by Wilmots, failing to lob an out-of-position Nigmatullin and then somehow blazing over from close-range with the goal at his mercy.

    Beschastnykh's goal was not enough for Russia

    After the interval, and quite possibly with coach Oleg Romantsev's words ringing in their ears, Russia took the game to Belgium.

    And they were duly rewarded on 52 minutes. A delightful through-ball by Dmitri Khokhlov found first-half substitute Sychev.

    His initial shot in the area was blocked by Geert De Vlieger, but the ball fell kindly to Beschastnykh who scored despite the best efforts of Yves Vanderhaeghe to clear off his line.

    Beschastnykh should have extended his side's lead minutes later but failed to direct his header on target and the striker's profligacy would cost Russia dear.

    Waseige brought on Sonck and the substitution proved an inspired one as he headed Belgium back into the lead with 12 minutes remaining.

    It was no less than they deserved. Wilmots capped a fine display with Belgium's third and despite a late, late goal by Sychev, Waseige's men held firm and now face Brazil.


    Belgium: Geert De Vlieger, Glen De Boeck (Eric van Meir 90), Nico van Kerckhoven, Jacky Peeters, Daniel van Buyten, Bart Goor, Johan Walem, Gert Verheyen (Timmy Simons 78), Yves Vanderhaeghe, Marc Wilmots (capt), Mbo Mpenza (Wesley Sonck 70).
    Subs Not Used: Danny Boffin, Eric Deflandre, Gaetan Englebert, Frederic Herpoel, Branko Strupar, Bernd Thijs, Peter van Der Heyden, Franky Vandendriessche, Sven Vermant.
    Booked: Vanderhaeghe.
    Goals: Walem 7, Sonck 78, Wilmots 82.

    Russia: Ruslan Nigmatullin, Yuri Kovtun, Yuri Nikiforov (Dmitry Sennikov 43), Viktor Onopko (capt), Alexei Smertin (Dimtry Sychev 34), Andrei Solomatin, Valery Karpin (Alexander Kerzhakov 83), Egor Titov, Dmitry Alenichev, Dmitry Khokhlov, Vladimir Beschastnykh.
    Subs Not Used: Stanislav Cherchesov, Igor Chugainov, Viacheslva Daev, Aleksander Filimonov, Marat Izmailov, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Ruslan Pimenov, Sergei Semak, Igor Semshov.
    Booked: Solomatin, Smertin, Alenichev, Sennikov.
    Goals: Beschastnykh 53, Sychev 89.

    Attendance: 46,640

    Referee: Kim Milton Nielsen (Den).


    MATCH STATS | 
      |  Belgium  |  Russia | 
    Corners (1st half)  |  6  |  3 | 
    Corners (2nd half)  |  5  |  0 | 
    Fouls committed  |  14  |  11 | 
    Caught offside  |  1  |  3 | 
    Shots on target  |  6  |  7 | 
    Shots off target  |  8  |  4 | 
    Hit woodwork (back into play)  |  0  |  0 | 
    Yellow cards  |  1  |  4 | 
    Red cards  |  0  |  0 | 
    STOPPAGE TIME  |   | 
    First half - 1 min  |  Second half - 3 mins  | 


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