> Sports > 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP 

   June 14, 2002 | 1355 IST


Swedish fan
Another one bites the dust

  Best of the Web

A compilation of the best links on the World Cup.

  Soccer Store

Snap up Jerseys, Books, CD ROMs and Arsenal soccer balls. Click here


Act Now! Treat those Scratches

Belgium make round 2 with late goals

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Bill Barclay

Belgium scored twice in the last 12 minutes to seal a thrilling 3-2 victory over Russia on Friday and a place in the World Cup's second round.

Vladimir Beschastnykh's second-half equaliser looked to have earned Russia a place in the last 16 but strikes by substitute Wesley Sonck and captain Marc Wilmots ended Belgium's five-match streak of World Cup finals draws and set up a clash with Brazil.

Russian substitute Dmitry Sychev scored two minutes from time to give his side hope, but it was too late.

Belgium's Wesley Sonck flips in celebration after scoring against Russia while his team mate Bart Goor watches.Belgium finished runners-up in group H on five points, two behind Japan and two ahead of the Russians, who failed to qualify for the second round for their third straight World Cup.

Robert Waseige's Belgian side started brightly knowing they needed a victory to keep alive their hopes of progressing and full merited their lead when Johan Walem superbly curled a free kick into the top corner from 25 metres.

Mbo Mpenza and Gert Verheyen, twice, had excellent chances to increase their lead in the opening period against a misfiring Russian team.

Russia, with unfit playmaker Alexander Mostovoi again on the substitutes' bench, looked devoid of attacking menace in a terrible first-half display.

Romantsev, his job on the line, lost patience after 34 minutes and brought on 18-year-old striker Sychev but Russia suffered another blow before the interval when central defender Yuri Nikiforov had to come off with a calf injury.

Sychev's arrival on the pitch had sparked Russia to their 2-0 victory over Tunisia and they looked a little better at the start of the second period. But their goal came out of nothing.

Dmitry Khokhlov loped forward and found Sychev streaking clear. When his shot was saved, Beschastnykh gleefully snapped up the rebound.

Stung by the goal, Belgium desperately poured forward in search of another goal but central defender Viktor Onopko, winning his 100th cap for Russia, kept their rearguard well protected until Sonck powered in a header eight minutes after coming on. Wilmots scored with a deflected shot four minutes later and Sychev's late goal was a mere consolation for Russia.

Back to top
(c) Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


(c) 2002 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.