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22/06/14 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Welcome to this afternoons Live Blog coverage of Belgium v Russia, as RoM continues to follow the progress of Manchester United players at this World Cup. Victory today for Fellaini, Januzaj and co will put them through to the knockout stages, and given the quality throughout their side, they surely start this game as favourites

    Brad
  2. Team line ups to follow

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  3. Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Fellaini, van Buyten, Kompany07 De Bruyne, Witsel, Lukaku, Mertens, Hazard

    Brad
  4. Subs: Vertonghen, Mirallas, Mignolet, Bossut, Defour, Origi, Lombaerts, Dembélé, Januzaj, Vanden Borre, Chadli, Ciman

    Brad
  5. As expected, Fellaini starts for Belgium, but Januzaj has to settle for the bench. Rumoured transfer target (along with every other player on the planet) Vermaelen replaces Vertonghen at the back

    Brad
  6. Russia: Akinfeev, Kozlov, Kombarov, Faizulin, Berezoutski, Ignashevitch, Samedov, Glushakov, Kokorin, Shatov, Kanunnikov

    Brad
  7. Subs: Schennikov, Semenov, Denisov, Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Lodygin, Granat, Mogilevets, Ryzhikov, Zhirkov, Ionov, Eshchenko

    Brad
  8. Personally surprised Akinfeev has retained his place in goal for Russia, manager Capello has previous for being ruthless with his selections, and the keeper had a shocker against South Korea, simply couldn't hold onto anything

    Brad
  9. Belgium kick us off at the Maracana, Dr Felix Brych the referee

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  10. Belgium with the first corner of the game, they've cleared the ball and break immediately. For a moment it's three on two, but Belgium get enough bodies back to halt the move, and the referee then stops the game as Samedov goes down with a head injury

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  11. The United players we're following today had very different campaigns indeed. Lone summer signing Fellaini simply never seemed to get going, and was one of the big disappointments of the season. Januzaj operated at the other end of the spectrum, a magnificently exciting introduction to the first team, and a real bright spark during a season to otherwise forget

    Brad
  12. Mertens the brightest player on the pitch so far, when the ball goes out to him he's pacy and direct. He's had one strike on goal, which was blocked without troubling the keeper

    Brad
  13. Not sure why Vertonghen is out of the side for Vermaelen today, the former is on a yellow card, but given victory in this game makes Belgium's last group game against South Korea a formality where players can be rested, there must be other reasons for the deselection

    Brad
  14. Vermaelen with a big looping cross into the area, and Akinfeev must be panicking because Fellaini is the man bearing down on him. The keeper leaps high enough to punch away, and offside is given anyway

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  15. Faizulin provides the first real test for Courtois in the Belgium goal, spins his man of the edge of the area, good save and it's parried for a corner. Taken quickly, short... and they've made a right mess of it, comes to nothing

    Brad
  16. Fabulous driving run down the centre of the pitch by De Bruyne, no Russian can keep up with him, and Mertens is played in behind. Not a great angle, has the option to shoot or try to square for Lukaku... takes the latter option, but the ball is intercepted

    Brad
  17. Fellaini seems to be everywhere at the moment, where were these levels of energy all season?!

    Brad
  18. I'm a big fan of Kerzhakov, and for the second game running Capello only selects him from the bench. He'll be mid 30's by the time Russia hold this tournament, so maybe some forward planning in the back of his mind, but he's an excellent striker and rescued Russia a point against South Korea

    Brad
  19. Fellaini on the back post looking to get on the end of a cross from the right flank by Alderweireld. Just beyond him

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  20. It's a reasonable game so far, but the supporters in the stadium feel the need to Mexican wave anyway. Ugh

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  21. Mertens continues his excellent start to this game, tricky run turning his man one way then the other, then striking from the edge of the area. Just wide

    Brad
  22. Certainly the quality of crossed balls in this game could improve, Kanunnikov the latest to float a ball over everyone's heads

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  23. Mertens again, just the full back to beat, skips onto his outside - but not sure what that end product was. Whether a shot or a cross, it's no danger to Akinfeev and it's a Russian goal kick

    Brad
  24. Ouch. Clash of heads, Alderweireld and Kanunnikov groggy as the game stops momentarily, but both will contiue

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  25. Russia can't handle De Bruyne and Mertens at the moment. They link up again, and it's another corner for Belgium

    Brad
  26. Penalty shout for Russia? Kanunnikov has the ball in the area, it looks like Alderweireld kicks his foot father than the ball... referee was very well placed but gave nothing. Penalty for me

    Brad
  27. Russia playing better than they did against South Korea, but it's still pretty uninspiring stuff. Belgium dictating the pace and tempo of this game. Lukaku not really involved in the game as yet though, and Akinfeev not seriously tested as yet

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  28. Samedov the latest player to put a cross out for a goal kick. Absolutely woeful quality

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  29. Kanunnikov again down the left, stinging the hands of Courtois with a driven low effort. Belgium clear

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  30. Early substitution for Belgium, and it's Vermaelen going off injured for Vertonghen

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  31. A replay shown of Vermaelen warming up and getting injured before the game, looked in fair agony. Obviously still passed fit to start, but he only lasted 30 minutes. Russia rarely threatened with pace directly at him, so maybe Belgium have had a let off there

    Brad
  32. This game is in danger of becoming mundane, the atmosphere has dipped (the fans obviously bored of their Mexican waves now) and the quality is going in a similar direction. Then again I said that at one point during the France v Switzerland game, and that soon sparked into life again! Here's hoping

    Brad
  33. Mertens works Akinfeev as he drives past his man Kombarov yet again. Yet another cross-cum-shot type effort though, maybe could have done better with several team mates waiting in the box

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  34. Fellaini wins a header in midfield, nodding on to De Bruyne, and that means danger for Russia because he's in fiesty mood going forward. Tries to do it all alone this time though, and Faizulin dispossesses him

    Brad
  35. Glushakov is booked, I presume for high feet on Hazard. Not sure how much contact there was

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  36. Bit of class from Kompany, Kokorin running at him, times a perfect invention, but then has to go and win the ball for a second time. Does so, and passes the ball forward cooly to a team mate, great play

    Brad
  37. Kombarov with a better corner kick, into a good area and Courtois comes a long way to punch that away. Inexplicably the referee award his a free kick, despite no Russia player challenging him

    Brad
  38. Russia with a good end to the half, Kozlov winning another corner for his side. Samedov to take it

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  39. Ball cleared, but falls to Kombarov on the edge of the area. He returns the ball towards the goal with interest... but over the bar

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  40. Wonderful ball in from Glushakov wide left, and Kokorin is unmarked, he must score! But his header is glanced rather than met fully, and it's wide. Russia should lead

    Brad
  41. Just one minute of added time to play

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  42. Half time. Belgium much the better team early on, with Mertens providing most of the threat. But as the game has gone on, Russia have started to improve, with their tactic of targeting the flanks and dropping the ball in behind working well. Russia should have had a penalty for the foul by Alderweireld, and Kokorin had the best chance of the game just before half time as he nodded a relatively simple header wide with only the keeper to beat

    Brad
  43. Fellaini has had a decent game so far, predictably used as an aerial threat when Belgium build the play slowly and he has time to get into the area; but he's also robbed Russia of possession on several occasions

    Brad
  44. Both teams coming back out, second half to begun shortly. Hopefully a higher quality half in store

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  45. Russia have us underway

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  46. Not sure the supporters are too enamoured with this game so far, seats are taking some time to fill back up. Predictable the FIFA section taking the longest, as bubbly and vol-au-vents take priority

    Brad
  47. Witsel is down, looks like a shoulder injury. Am sure he'll continue

    Brad
  48. Well, unless this game improves quite exceptionally, we might be on for a bore draw. Russia do have a corner, but like all before it's cleared comfortably without challenge

    Brad
  49. Glushakov tries to catch out Courtois with a looping sliced effort. At least I assume that was his intention, rather than just another really poor cross. Over the bar anyway

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  50. Witsel clearly fine, because he's just picked up a yellow card as he tugged back Shatov

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  51. Too often last season, referees were quick to give fouls against Fellaini as he challenged to head the ball. Doesn't seem to be the case so far this tournament, and he's enjoying a tad more dominance in the air as a result

    Brad
  52. Talking of Fellaini, he's actually taking up a wide left position at the moment, as Hazard moves inside. And the Chelsea man is on the ball now, tries to feed the ball through to De Bruyne, but he's over hit it

    Brad
  53. Second substitution for Belgium, the ineffectual Lukaka withdrawn for the even younger Origi

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  54. Belgium claim a penalty as Origi goes down in the area under challenge by Ignashevitch. Just seemed to lose his balance as he tried to pass the ball to Hazard, correct decision not awarding anything there

    Brad
  55. Kozlov down now. I think a lot of these 'injuries' are tactical so the players can take water on board. Fair enough, but until the ref waves the player back on, Russia are a man light

    Brad
  56. Eshchenko comes on for Kozlov, who does seem to be genuinely injured after all, my bad!

    Brad
  57. I have a faint memory of former Scotland and Preston manager Craig Brown slating Del Piero when covering Italian football for C4 in the UK, accusing him of typical Italian play acting. Turned out he had a serious knee injury, was out for the campaign and some would argue was never the same player again!

    Brad
  58. It's not quite at Nigeria v Iran levels of drearyness (that really was a shocker of a match), but it's bordering on Greece v Japan. This game badly needs a moment of individual genius

    Brad
  59. Can't help but feeling Januzaj might be the man to provide that genius. Will Wilmots consider that change as his final substitution? The fans in the stadium, predominantly Brazilian, are now booing because of the lack of entertainment

    Brad
  60. There is literally nothing for me to comment on at the moment, this game is now officially a stinker

    Brad
  61. An attack! Shatov played in, but Van Buyten is too quick, and defends well. Will be a corner though

    Brad
  62. Kombarov takes, and Kompany has to head back behind under pressure. Another corner... and the same head meets it, but this time it's cleared far towards Hazard. He fouls his man and Russia have a free kick. Use of the arm from Hazard? Might have been a booking

    Brad
  63. Ignashevitch is the man on the end of that free kick, ball is coming in quite central and there's not much he can do with that. Goal kick

    Brad
  64. Alderweireld has been booked, late challenge on Kanunnikov. Has been a good contest between those two

    Brad
  65. Glushakov over the bar. Russia certainly the better team at this point. We won't be seeing Januzaj today, because Belgium make their final sub, and it's Everton's Mirallas

    Brad
  66. He came on for Mertens by the way, who was the brightest spot of this game first half, but simply didn't feature second

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  67. Blimey Origi is fast, he just turned on the afterburners there and sped past Samedov as if he was running in treacle. Shame Belgium haven't been able to get him involved much since coming on

    Brad
  68. Fellaini seems to have been told to go up front as Belgium change tactics oncemore. The ball is aimed in long to him, he wins the ball and flicks on towards Origi... who is flagged offside

    Brad
  69. Best effort of the half. Eshchenko has it in acres of space wide right, hits a daisy cutter aimed at the far post, and it's just wide

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  70. In a game of rancid crossing, Kanunnikov has just trumped all. The crowd boo, because there's no one within a million miles of the ball he just played, and it's out for a goal kick

    Brad
  71. Capello still not tempted to go with Kerzhakov who rescued Russia from the bench in the first game. Dzagoev will come on though, and Shatov makes way

    Brad
  72. Dangerous moments for Russia, as Alderweireld wins a free kick, I think Kanunnikov handled it

    Brad
  73. Mirallas hits the post! Shocking how untested Akinfeev has been given how poor he was against South Korea, that was a good effort though and the keeper was beaten

    Brad
  74. Belgium have woken up. Hazard past two and into the area, he opts to pass rather than continue, and it's a bad decision as the ball is given away

    Brad
  75. Wonderful from Hazard. Picks up the ball in the area from Mirallas, pivots on the ball and spins past his man, shoots but it's blocked and out for a corner. That's taken quickly, Fellaini rises highest... wasn't on target and seems the referee has given a foul anyway

    Brad
  76. GOAL for BELGIUM 1-0

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  77. This game didn't really deserve a goal, but it's the magnificence of Hazard that serves it up. He picks the ball up wide left, ghosts past his man and runs to the byline. Looks up, spots Origi, and the ball is rifled into the top of the net. With only a couple of minutes to go, surely that's the winner!

    Brad
  78. Kerzhakov will come on belatedly, Samedov is off. Too little too late for Capello, should have made that change earlier

    Brad
  79. Three minutes of added time

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  80. If it stays like this, Russia will be hoping for an Algeria win later this evening, because that means victory in the final group game would be enough for Capello's men. Any other result, and their destiny is out of their hands

    Brad
  81. Mirallas and Hazard have changed this game between them. Once again they feature, and the former is one on one with the keeper. Doesn't strike the ball cleanly, and it's saved by Akinfeev

    Brad
  82. That's it, full time. Belgium won't care that the game was a stinker for the most part, and that at times Russia were the better team despite not really getting out of second gear. And the reason is Origi's winning goal, which puts them through to the knockout stages, and almost certainly as group toppers. A draw between South Korea and Nigeria later, and that will be confirmed

    Brad
  83. Congratulations to Belgium, Fellaini and Januzaj have earned themselves at least one extra game this tournament. Not that the latter is getting a sniff at the moment. Wilmots put his faith in the youngster Origi today off the bench, and it was repaid. Maybe Januzaj will now get his opportunity to shine in the final group game, with Belgium through with a game to spare

    Brad
  84. That's it for the LiveBlog. Nani should feature for Portugal later today, big game against USA might go a long way towards deciding who progresses from that tight group. Good luck to him, hopefully he can improve on his non existent performance in the first game as his nation was battered by Germany. Time will tell. Bye for now

    Brad