5 Things We Learned From Belgium 2-1 USA (after extra time)


1. Romelu Lukaku has finally come to life at this World Cup

Having been dropped after some abject displays in the group stage, Lukaku had a point to prove when he came on for the start of extra time. But what an impact he made. A driving run down the right left the American defence for dead as he assisted the first, before sweeping in a brilliant second. Can Lukaku force his way back into Wilmots's thinking for the Argentina game?

 

2. Kevin de Bruyne is infuriatingly close to being really good

Everything about him points towards a star – just look at how he took his goal. His poise, skill, balance, speed and vision attracted Chelsea and, more recently, Wolfsburg. Yet the young attacking midfielder just seems to lack that extra 5% to allow him to realise his abundant potential. A loose final pass or a wayward shot after some neat skill is all too common from him.

 

3. Divock Origi is a star in the making

The latest talent to drop off the Belgian conveyor belt is Origi. The Lille striker has shown impressive movement and an instinctive eye for goal that has already attracted Liverpool. But the Reds may wish they’d snapped him up before he impressed for Belgium. That price tag is rising…

 

4. Jan Vertonghen is good going forward, but shaky at left-back

Sadly for Belgium fans, Jan Vertonghen has brought this Tottenham form to Brazil. He rarely gets to play in his favoured position of centre-back these days and Fabian Johnson (and then his replacement DeAndre Yedlin) gave him a tough time in the wide areas. While delivered some good crosses when he went forward, he is there for the taking for any winger that dares.

 

5. Jurgen Klinsmann has done a brilliant job with USA

Lets just take stock for a minute and consider what Klinsmann has achieved. He’s guided USA out of the toughest World Cup group ahead of Portugal, who possess the world’s best player, and Ghana, who had knocked USA out of the last two World Cups. USA have not only come through the group but, for the first time ever, made soccer popular back home. People are packing out parks and stadiums in their tens of thousands. And, as we saw in the final 15 minutes against Belgium, the US could unearthed their first major soccer star in Bayern Munich's Julian Green. This team, led by Klinsmann, has just taken soccer mainstream.