Hong Myung-bo's side were quick off the starting blocks, as only a heavy win would give them a chance of progressing to the next round, and they showed their attacking intent, powering forward as early as the third minute but the referee ended the move due to offside.
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Belgium, somewhat rattled in the early stages, were threatened once again in the 12th minute when Kim Young-gwon blasted his effort high and wide.
The Red Devils, however, upped their tempo as the game went on, and Kim had to thwart a last-minute Anthony Vanden Borre surge into the box. The Belgian players appealed for a penalty, but this wasn't given.
Just four minutes later, Kevin Mirallas succeeded in getting the ball into the opposition net but this was disallowed due to offside, while in the 25th minute Dries Mertens wasted a good chance from just 10 yards.
Just after the half-hour mark, however, the Taeguk Warriors caused panic in the Belgium box when Ki Sung-yeung's effort forced Thibaut Courtois into a save, just moments before a chaotic goal-line clearance.
Towards the end of the first half, Steven Defour went in studs first on Kim Shin-wook, and the referee produced a straight red card for the Mechelen-born midfielder, leaving the Red Devils a man down.