Twice now, Belgium has relied on a late revival boosted by stamina and its bench to turn desperate situations around at the World Cup. On Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, it was teenager Divock Origi who turned a listless Belgian performance into a late 1-0 win over Russia, enough to qualify for the next round.
Belgium barely contained a reinvigorated Russia for most of the match, yet struck with a blistering late spurt of class and opportunism to turn a bad situation into a wild, fist-pumping celebration for coach Marc Wilmots and his team in the 88th minute.
"Why were we good in last 10 minutes? Simple, the others were tired," said Wilmots. "The Russians were so tired they looked at their feet, and it offered us chances to counter."
After its dour 1-1 draw with South Korea, Russia produced the kind of sparkle and dominance that had been expected from Belgium in front of 73,819 increasingly restless fans at Maracana stadium.
With Belgian King Philippe looking on, substitute Kevin Mirallas hit a free kick against the post in the 84th minute, setting off the amazing turnaround.
Eden Hazard made a move into the area on the left and spotted Origi free in the center. A pinpoint pass from Hazard and cool right-foot finishing from the 19-year-old Origi gave Belgium the victory.
"Nobody could have thought this possible," said Origi, who was called into the squad only because No. 1 striker Christian Benteke injured his Achilles in April.
Algeria 4, South Korea 2: First-half goals by Islam Slimani and Rafik Halliche helped Algeria to a victory over South Korea in Porto Alegre, leaving the African nation second in Group H with one match left to play.
Costa Rica: Costa Rica's football federation has sent a letter to FIFA demanding an explanation for why so many of its players were required to submit to anti-doping controls after a surprise victory over Italy. Seven Costa Rica players were tested after Friday's 1-0 win, angering team officials who say it could lead to people believing that football's world governing body suspects Costa Ricans of doping.
Etc.: FIFA will be advised on Monday that a neo-Nazi sympathizer invaded the pitch during the Germany-Ghana match.
The fans' anti-discrimination network, Fare, says it is preparing a report on Saturday's incident, when a shirtless fan interrupted play. Slogans written on his chest and back included "HH", signifying Heil Hitler, and "SS," referring to the Nazi paramilitary unit.
Fare executive director Piara Powar tells The Associated Press "there would be no other explanation for it." Powar says Fare's report will also refer to fans wearing blackface makeup at the match in Fortaleza with no intervention by stadium security.