Vincent Kompany hopes Belgium can reach the final
Belgium captain Vincent Kompany led from the front last night after being passed fit to play. He was ebullient in his belief in just how the team can progress after edging past the United States in the round of sixteen.
“I am unbelievably tired but also unbelievably proud of what the boys have achieved. We gave it our all and we achieved it together as one strong group,” he told VRT.
“From Brazil we don’t notice the madness (back home) so much. These are of course very special moments and the release after the games is considerable. Nevertheless we will maintain the required focus because we know we are still capable of more. If everyone is fully fit, it can be a very special game against Argentina.
“We now hope that we can go through until 13 July. It will be difficult but we have the players to do it. It is also positive that we had so many chances against the US. If that repeats itself against Argentina, I think we will score more.”
At the other end of the pitch, Romelu Lukaku dedicated his goal to his father after a difficult tournament for the Chelsea striker:
“It was not just me but the whole 23-man squad,” he told VRT. “Since the start of the World Cup we have had a lot of players who make the difference for us. I am happy that this time it was me.
“My father had asked me to do something special for him if I scored (He went to the camera and said “I love you, dad.”) but I mustn’t forget my mother of course. Hello mum.
“Now we must keep going like this and hope that we can go as far as possible. We are physically there – the coaches and medical staff have prepared us perfectly. Now we can celebrate but thereafter we must refocus as the coach has asked.
Everton forward Kevin Mirallas was impressive when he came on but was denied a goal on several occasions due to the exploits of his teammate at club level Tim Howard:
“I don’t know exactly how many chances we had. I know my goalkeeper at Everton did everything to ensure we would not win the game. I have to congratulate him. He was fantastic,” he told VRT.