World Cup pre-game: Belgium vs. Russia

A victory over Russia Sunday (CBC,, 12 p.m. ET) would wrap up Group H for Belgium.

Russians have eye on 2nd place

Belgium star Eden Hazard assisted on the game-winning goal that beat Algeria in the opening game. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Group H: Belgium vs. Russia

  • 12 p.m. ET, Sunday June 22
  • CBC TV,

What’s at stake

Belgium can wrap its group with a victory. Russia has its eyes set on second position.

Runner up of this group will play the winner of Group G — which likely means Germany.

These two teams have played each other eight times previously, with Russia leading the series 4-3, and one draw.

Impact players

Belgium. Eden Hazard. The well-placed pass by this attacking Chelsea midfielder led directly to Belgian's game-winning goal against Algeria.

Russia. Alexander Kerzhakov. A veteran Russian forward who plays his club football with Zenit, he scored Russia’s only goal against Korea.

What to watch for

Pre-tournament hype around Belgium was high. But it initially looked sluggish against Algeria. Russia may well be a tougher opponent. So the Belgians need to up their game.

Russia, Korea and Algeria have only one goal each so far. The Russians want to find the net as often as possible against Belgium, while also hoping for full points.

They said it

“In the dressing room I had written that substitutes would make all the difference.” — Belgium’s manager Marc Wilmot speaking to media after his match.

“The reaction from the players was really good. Kerzhakov is a fantastic player and you always feel he can score.” — Russia’s Fabio Capello speaking to media.

The big number

2 — Both of Belgium’s two goals against Algeria were scored by subs. So who will Wilmots start against Russia? 

Obligatory fun fact

Before the 2014 tournament started, Marc Wilmot had scored Belgium’s last World Cup goal. It came against Russia in 2002, with Belgium winning 3-2.


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