Divock Origi has admitted Belgium underperformed in their opening game of the European Championship and cannot afford another “bad day” against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
Belgium lost 2-0 to Italy at Stade de Lyon on Monday as Antonio Conte’s team produced a commanding and clinical display in contrast to the side ranked second in the world. Marc Wilmots, the Belgium coach, has come in for renewed criticism following the performance and was booed several times during the defeat by the country’s massed ranks of supporters.
Origi, who came on as a second-half substitute and missed a decent chance to equalise Emanuele Giaccherini’s opener, offered no excuses for Belgium’s latest disappointment on the international stage. “I think we just underperformed,” said the Liverpool forward. “In football that can happen but in a tournament you can’t have too many bad days because then you can’t go through. Now we have to be ready for the next game. We know it will be tough because we have a lot of respect for Ireland and we’ll have to look at how we play the game tactically.”
Graziano Pellè completed the scoring in added time and Belgium are bottom of their group after the opening game; they play Martin O’Neill’s team in Bordeaux in their next outing. Origi added: “It’s going to be an important game for us. We have to be ready. After the loss against Italy we’re obviously disappointed but we know that Ireland are a good team and we’ll have to be at 100% to beat them, that’s for sure.”