Sports

Demoted Lukaku plays key role in Belgium's 2-1 victory against US at World Cup

  • Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after Belgium defeated the USA 2-1 in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Lukaku scored his side's second and winning goal. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after Belgium defeated the USA 2-1 in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Lukaku scored his side's second and winning goal. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Romelu Lukaku, de Bélgica, celebra luego de anotar el segundo gol de Bélgica frente a Estados Unidos, en la prórroga de un partido por los octavos de final de la Copa del Mundo, el martes 1 de julio de 2014 en Salvador, Brasil (AP foto/Themba Hadebe)

    Romelu Lukaku, de Bélgica, celebra luego de anotar el segundo gol de Bélgica frente a Estados Unidos, en la prórroga de un partido por los octavos de final de la Copa del Mundo, el martes 1 de julio de 2014 en Salvador, Brasil (AP foto/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

Romelu Lukaku had a point to prove at the World Cup.

After Belgium missed countless chances during the 90 minutes of regulation time in the second-round match against the United States on Tuesday, the powerful striker came off the bench and soon set up the opening goal for Kevin De Bruyne.

As the U.S. pressed for an equalizer, De Bruyne swiftly returned the favor to Lukaku, who made it 2-0.

Despite scoring key goals in World Cup qualifying, Lukaku had a disappointing start in the group matches and was dropped from the starting lineup.

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots says, "The media tried to take Romelu down after the first round, but I was convinced that he would still be able to make the difference at this World Cup."