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Belgium 1 Russia 0: Dour match is sparked into life by teenager Dovick Origi as Belgians reach last 16

Divock Origi sent Belgium into the last 16 of the World Cup when the teenager struck an 88th-minute winner to secure a 1-0 victory against Russia in a largely lifeless Group H match at the Maracana.

Kevin de Bruyne congratulates team-mate Divock Origi after he scores a late winner to take Belgium into the last 16. Picture: Getty Sport
Kevin de Bruyne congratulates team-mate Divock Origi after he scores a late winner to take Belgium into the last 16. Picture: Getty Sport

Origi converted a cutback by Eden Hazard just minutes after Kevin Mirallas had struck the post with a free kick to give Belgium six points from two games.

"He's in a good space right now, he is 19 years old," said Marc Wilmots, the Belgium coach, of Origi. "It was a bit of a surprise as he was an unknown before I selected him. Now everyone knows who he is."

Origi is the first teenager to score in the World Cup since Argentina's Lionel Messi in 2006 and is the youngest to find the net at these finals. "It was an important goal but I thought we created it as a team. I thought we showed today that we are mentally strong," Origi said, heaping praise on Hazard for creating the opportunity.

"I hung back and then he passed it to me. People will say it wasn't easy to convert but the work he did shows he is a great player."

Apart from a rousing finale when Belgium finally awoke from their lethargy, the match was one of the poorest in the tournament so far with both teams regularly booed. Despite a few flashes of inspiration from Belgium winger Dries Martens in the first half and their flourish at the end, the match never rose above the largely forgettable.

"The match was a really good game, fast, strong. I'm disappointed for the players because they played a really good game," said Fabio Capello, the Russia coach, appearing to contradict the view of most of the 73,000 who attended the game.

Mertens did his best to spark Belgium into life before the break, giving left back Dmitry Kombarov a torrid time, but although he was a constant threat none of his work produced a goal. He fired into the side netting and had another effort across the face of goal before the break as Belgium sought the win to take them into the knockout stages.

Russia had what appeared to be a decent penalty claim turned down when Toby Alderweireld appeared to catch Maksim Kanunnikov just inside the area and missed a great chance just before half-time when Alexander Kokorin miscued a free header from nine yards out.

Vincent Kompany, the Belgium captain, recovered from a groin strain to take part and made some typically robust defensive tackles, but left-back Thomas Vermaelen injured his knee in the warm-up and although he started the game, he was replaced by Jan Vertonghen midway through the first half.

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