South Korea vs Belgium: Thibault Courtois relieved to have qualified for second round as Belgium prepare for high-flying United States - International - Football - The Independent

South Korea vs Belgium: Thibault Courtois relieved to have qualified for second round as Belgium prepare for high-flying United States

Goalkeeper feels that the performance in the 1-0 victory was good enough and will now begin preparations for Tuesday's last-16 tie

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois breathed a sigh of relief after his team scored a late goal to beat South Korea at the World Cup.

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen gave the Red Devils a 1-0 triumph on Thursday in Sao Paulo to clinch first place in Group H and set up a meeting with the United States in the round of 16.

South Korea went into the game with a chance of advancing themselves but were denied by Courtois and the Belgian defensive wall.

"The Koreans had to score and it was a complicated game," Courtois said to http://www.dhnet.be. "It was important for me and for the team not to concede a goal."

Belgium had already secured a place in the next round and coach Marc Wilmots made seven changes to the side that beat Russia 1-0.

"There were many changes to the team but I thought we did well in the first half, with the exception of the red card," said Courtois, who won the Spanish Primera Liga with Atletico Madrid in the 2013-14 campaign while on loan from Chelsea.

 

The win was all the more gratifying considering Belgium had to play with 10 men from the 37th minute after Porto midfielder Steven Defour was sent off for a reckless challenge on Kim Shin-wook.

Belgium held their composure and showed plenty of resolve to beat Hong Myung-bo's side.

"In the second half, it was essential to defend well and to score on the counter attack," Courtois said. "Now we will have to prepare in the best way possible for the game against the United States.

"The important thing was to qualify."

Belgium make it three from three

Belgium have scored four goals and given away one in the group stages heading into Tuesday's match against the United States.

Jan Vertonghen celebrates scoring for Belgium Jan Vertonghen celebrates scoring for Belgium Wilmots is delighted with his team's performances at the tournament so far.

"We knew all games were going to be tough at the World Cup," the 45-year-old said. "But even with 10 men against South Korea we still pushed forward and won the game.

"I particularly liked the mentality that my players showed when we were down 10 men.

"Despite the initial shock after Steven's sending off, the players stayed in the game.

"These guys are really hungry.

"There was a lot of pressure for my players ahead of this tournament in Brazil but I think with this nine out of nine (points), we have responded well."

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week