Fiji Time: 6:47 PM on Friday 9 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Clash for top spot in Group H

Sunday, June 22, 2014

MOGI DAS CRUZES, Brazil - With the second round just one victory away, Belgium is sweating on the fitness of captain and defender Vincent Kompany ahead of its World Cup game against Russia.

After wearing down Algeria's defence before coming from behind to win, Belgium could well face a similar battle of attrition against Russia at Rio's Maracana stadium tomorrow in Group H.

"We play dominant and we always try to win," Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said Friday, adding that if Russia falls back, it is only a sign that "teams respect Belgium now."

In defence, Wilmots has always relied on Kompany to keep the way to goal nearly impregnable. To lose the Manchester City defender, who is nursing a groin strain, would be a serious blow.

"All being well he will be back training with the rest of the squad on Saturday," Wilmots said.

At least Wilmots has a healthy cushion since Belgium leads the group with three points, ahead of Russia and South Korea with one. Algeria has zero points.

Victory on Sunday would see Belgium through and might also allow Wilmots to give Kompany a rest ahead of the knockout stage.

"We are in a good position. It is not the time to do crazy things," Wilmots said.

For Russia, coach Fabio Capello has to decide whether to stick with goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, whose blunder by letting a soft shot slip through his hands allowed South Korea to draw 1-1 in their opening game.

If Russia comes out looking for victory, it might offer the time and space for playmaker Eden Hazard to make a real impact on the World Cup with the creative moves that have made him such a key player for Chelsea in the Premier league.

And it might set Belgium's top striker Romelu Lukaku free after a disappointing game against Algeria.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.61820.5992
JPY 57.502354.5023
GBP 0.30880.3008
EUR 0.42110.4091
NZD 0.71840.6854
AUD 0.65730.6323
USD 0.47680.4598



Exchange Rate updated on 9th October 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Man jailed 14 years for raping brother's stepdaughter
  2. Ryan eyes lanky 15s forward
  3. Newcomers Dreketi upsets Lautoka
  4. 10 years for raping seven-year-old girl
  5. Retiree keeps promise to make a difference
  6. Unreasonable requests
  7. Strong economy
  8. Suva makes IDC semis
  9. Housing project for hundreds
  10. Ministry clears air on workers' ERP provisions

Top Stories this Week

  1. Rugby outcry Monday (05 Oct)
  2. Fisherman has whale of a day Tuesday (06 Oct)
  3. Family robbed, fear for lives Monday (05 Oct)
  4. Mum upset Wednesday (07 Oct)
  5. The murders and tragedies of Vatuwaqa Tuesday (06 Oct)
  6. Death classified as unnatural Thursday (08 Oct)
  7. FRCA duo sent home Wednesday (07 Oct)
  8. Sex offenders top list, taxpayers foot $15,660 per day Tuesday (06 Oct)
  9. Fiji thrash Uruguay 47-15 Wednesday (07 Oct)
  10. Ganilau a nominee Thursday (08 Oct)