Belgium coach Marc Wilmots sounded bitter after his team’s 1-0 defeat to Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday. The Red Devils conceded an early goal to Gonzalo Higuain and were unable to respond, despite numerous chances to add to the scoreline for both sides. After the game, Wilmots described Argentina as an “ordinary team” that resorts to time-wasting and disrupting the rhythm of more skillful opponents.
“You saw the experience of the Argentinians out there,” he said. “They can distort the rhythm of a game. It can take them 30 seconds to take a throw-in and the referee does nothing about it. We made one small mistake [when Vincent Kompany gave away possession eight minutes in] and they steal the ball and score. You could sense the disappointment in the dressing room but we’ll learn from this."
He added: “I told the boys they were one of the youngest teams in the competition and the future is bright for this Belgium side. But we were not impressed by the Argentinians. They are just an ordinary team. It’s not a missed opportunity. Do you think Argentina played a good match? People complained about our performances in our first three matches but this is what football is all about. I’m not saying Argentina can’t be world champions: they have [Angel] Di María and [Lionel] Messi, two of the top five players in the world. But how many shots did they have?” Later, he proclaimed: “If we’d equalized in the last few minutes, they would be dead. Finished.”