Defender Jan Vertonghen scored from a rebound in the 78th minute to give 10-man Belgium a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday to clinch top spot in Group H at the World Cup.
It was Belgium's third straight victory of the group stage and set up a meeting with the Unites States in the round of 16 (July 1, 4 p.m. ET, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup).
South Korea was eliminated with the loss — joining the other three Asian nations at the tournament.
Vertonghen was a stand-in captain for injured star Vincent Kompany. He knocked in the winner after South Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu had saved a shot from Divock Origi.
Belgium was reduced to 10 men just before the break when Steven Defour was sent off for a two-footed challenge, but South Korea couldn't capitalize.
They said it
"All of our players did their utmost. They gave it their all but I think that it was my shortcoming, my failing as a coach that caused this result," — South Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo
"It gives us so much confidence to get those nine points with only 10 men and prepare for the Americans in that mood," — Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen