21 Sep 2017
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Belgium’s Divock Origi owes success to his father

MUMBAI: The match has been called dull by soccer fans but Divock Origi scored a late goal to help Belgium win 1-0 against Russia in the World Cup. “I’m calm by nature and I owe that to my dad. I was able to come on to the pitch at the Maracana when the tension was at its peak and make the difference. I’m sure I’ll continue to grow and improve thanks to that calmness and score more goals just as important as that one,” he told Fifa.com.

Origi enjoyed the third goal scored by a Belgium substitute at Brazil 2014, after Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens did the honours against Algeria. It has been an incredible few weeks for the Lille forward, who originally expected to be watching the World Cup on television, until Christian Benteke fell out of the reckoning due to injury. Seeking a replacement, Marc Wilmots took something of a gamble when he called up a youngster with just one full season under his belt, but he recalled that Origi had struck shortly after coming off the bench on his Lille debut.

Overall, Belgium owed their victory in Brazil’s most hallowed stadium to the same qualities they had shown against Algeria: talented players willing to work for the team and a sprinkling of mental and physical fortitude. Those ingredients would nonetheless be worthless without a solid and intelligent tactical mould set in place by their coach – and Wilmots once again deserved plaudits. “We showed great togetherness and mental strength in a tough game, but above all you have to look at the extent to which we were in good hands,” said Origi.

Daniel Van Buyten said,. “The frustration of players who don’t start games is obvious, but in a tournament like this your bench is one of the keys to success. It’s such a pleasure to see a youngster like Divock translate that into performance.”

He added that Russia needed to win this game. “They were forced to take risks at the end. For us, it was a case of above all keeping our organisation by staying solid at the back.”

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard who set up the goal feels that his side can improve even further. “Our use of the ball when we had possession was a bit hesitant. We can do a lot better by working on that aspect.

“We intend to carry on winning. Each time, we inspire more fear. That’s ideal in terms of getting the teams we meet to come at us with their heads as low as possible.”

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