Mirallas Relishing Howard Duel
WInger confident Belgium can progress into quarter-finals.
Kevin Mirallas is confident Belgium can come out on top in their World Cup last-16 tie against the United States on Tuesday – but the winger admits it won’t be easy finding a way past his Everton teammate Tim Howard.
Ahead of their meeting in Salvador, Mirallas has labelled his Goodison colleague as one of the best goalkeepers in the world – a view reinforced by Howard’s excellent tournament to date.
The Blues stopper was instrumental as the US surprised many by finishing above Portugal and Ghana in what was considered by many as the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’.
But Mirallas, who made his first start in the World Cup against South Korea last Thursday, believes Belgium have enough quality in their ranks to negotiate their way past Jurgen Klinsmann’s spirited American outfit.
Mirallas said: "Tim is a superb goalkeeper, one of the 10 best in the world. Along with our goalkeeper, Thibault Courtois, he is one of the best at the World Cup, and he has lots of great qualities.
"USA have done very well and they are an excellent team. They have very good players, particularly Clint Dempsey, and we have to pay attention to them.
“We are making history and I hope that all the team is ready to continue doing so. We are more excited than nervous. It is the first time for most of us on this stage, but we know the whole country is behind us.”
Belgium v USA can be watched live on the BBC on Tuesday. Kick-off is 9pm UK time. You can also follow live updates via our official Twitter feed, @Everton.