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."

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before