Article

Quarters would be a success, says Courtois

14 June 2014 03:20

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he believes success for his country at the FIFA World Cup would be reaching the quarter-finals in Brazil.

After a 12-year absence from the World Cup finals, Belgium are a dark horse to win the tournament, with Marc Wilmots able to call upon the likes of stars Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, and Romelu Lukaku.

But speaking ahead of Belgium's Group H opener against Algeria on Tuesday, Courtois had his feet firmly on the ground after insisting progressing out of a group that also consists of Russia and South Korea, would be a challenge in itself.

"I think for us it is the first time after 12 years we are back here so I think we have to stay with our feet on the ground," the Atletico Madrid shot-stopper said of Belgium, who have not appeared a World Cup since 2002 in South Korea/Japan.

"Try and pass the group and if we are in the next round then everything is good.

"Everything that comes after quarter final or more this is a success. If we reach our goal that is to pass the group then lose to a better team we achieve our goal.

"Success would be quarter final or more."

Belgium have enjoyed a perfect record leading into the World Cup, with consecutive wins against Luxembourg (5-1), Sweden (2-0) and Tunisia (1-0) wrapping up pre-tournament preparations.

It has not been all smooth sailing for Belgium, however, after a scheduled closed-door friendly against fellow World Cup participants the United States on Thursday was called off.

Though coach Wilmots is adamant his players are ready for their opener in Belo Horizonte.

"The goal was to give some time to all players." said Wilmots. "It was already the target with the game against the United States.

"The game didn't happen but we had the possibility to find an alternative. I saw the intensity of the training yesterday for the game we played to make it up and I almost had to calm them down.

"We were feeling as if we were playing in a real game. We got what we wanted."

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Info

2 - 1

Competition
World Cup
Date
17 June 2014
Game week
1
Kick-off
18:00
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
2 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
25' S. Feghouli (PG)
M. Fellaini 70'
(assist by K. De Bruyne) 
1 - 1
D. Mertens 80'
(assist by E. Hazard) 
2 - 1

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Substitutes

Saturday 20 December

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Thursday 18 December

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