Wilmots: We wear teams down

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said his side's ability to score late in games at the FIFA World Cup has been due to them wearing teams down.

Fresh from topping Group H with three wins, the Belgians are preparing for a round-of-16 clash with the United States in Salvador on Tuesday.

All of Belgium's goals in Brazil have come from the 70-minute mark onwards, but Wilmots said that statistic proved their ability to stay patient and outrun their opponents.

"For the group stage, what I expected was to go through, to defend well as a team, to counter-attack when it was the time," Wilmots said.

"If we score at the 75th minute, it shows that we wore out our opponent, it means that we got players on the bench. 

"You can be two ways at a World Cup, either you're not happy or you're angry because you don't play, or you think 'my chance will come and I will take it'."

Wilmots' men were favourites for each of their group matches and vindicated their standing with three wins, and the Belgian boss said that pundits expecting them to beat the plucky Americans would not be a burden.

"It's a different context, it's not a new World Cup which starts but it's a game where you have to put the best team from the beginning, even though you always need a plan B or C because you never know," Wilmots said. 

"Now it's for real, we got a chance to reach the quarter finals, it's 50/50. I know people will say we are favourites but it's not a problem for me. 

"Since the beginning, we've been told we have to win the World Cup, so it's no problem. 

"We'll accept it, we'll accept our team, our squad and our will to go forward and we won't have any regrets because I think everybody gave his best until now."

Defender Jan Vertonghen said USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann makes the Americans a tough proposition, as does striker Clint Dempsey.

"They look very strong. With a German manager, they're very physical and compact. That's how they play," the Tottenham man said. 

"With Clint Dempsey up front they have a big man who can make the difference so we have to be aware of his danger. 

"It will not be an easy game for us, but we hope we can go through."