Divock Origi urges Belgium response following Italy defeat

The Liverpool forward has called on his international team-mates to pick themselves up and dust themselves off following a disappointing defeat in their opening fixture

Divock Origi urges Belgium response following Italy defeat
Divock Origi feels the pain of defeat at the hands of Italy | Photo: Telegraph

With the European Championships well underway, Belgium are way off pace and are now at risk of falling at the first hurdle as they succumbed to a first fixture defeat to their Group E rivals Italy.

Despite being rated the highest by FIFA out of all teams in this year's tournament, they are struggling to find their form, but Divock Origi is urging his teammates to find a response as they gear up to face the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

No repeats

The 21-year-old came off the bench to replace Romelu Lukaku in the 72nd minute as his side lost 1-0 to Antonio Conte's men in Lyon on Monday night.

Following the disappointing defeat, an honest Origi admitted Belgium were not as good as their opponents and thinks they now need to be ready to face ROI at the weekend.

"I think we just underperformed, in football that can happen," Origi told the Guardian. "But in a tournament you cannot have too many bad days. 

"Now we have to be ready for the next game."

Origi featured for the Red Devils at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as he led the line for his national side as a fresh-faced 19-year-old.

Now in his first European Championship, he admits he and his teammates will have to be tough due to the nature of their upcoming upcoming opponents.

"It will be tough because we have a lot of respect for Ireland and we will have to look at how we play the game tactically.

"It is going to be an important game for us. We have to be ready," he continued. "After the loss against Italy we are obviously disappointed but we know Ireland are a good team and we will have to be at 100% to beat them."

Origi - Italy

Divock Origi waits to come on for Belgium against Italy | Photo: Liverpool FC
Divock Origi waits to come on for Belgium against Italy | Photo: Liverpool FC

The Reds' no.27 featured for Belgium late on as he replaced leading striker Lukaku to get his first taste of Euro football while his Liverpool teammates Simon Mignolet and Christian Benteke remained on the substitutes bench.

The number two-rated team in the world by FIFA were behind after just 30 minutes as Emanuele Giaccherini latched on to a perfectly weighted ball from Leonardo Bonucci to give the the side in white a deserved first-half lead.

Origi found himself with a glorious chance to equalise with nine minutes remaining of the 90 but his close range header flew over the top of Gianlugi Buffon's net in what was the last chance for his side to forge a comeback in the match.

The Belgians were on the back foot for most of the fixture and were punished even more in stoppage time as Graziano Pelle connected with a well-timed volley to heap more misery on Marc Wilmots' men.

Belgium will be seeking redemption this Saturday as they square off against Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux, in a must-win clash for both sides.