Vermaelen seventh Gunner in last eight

Thomas Vermaelen could start for Belgium
Thomas Vermaelen could start for Belgium

Arsenal will have seven representatives in the World Cup quarter-finals after Thomas Vermaelen's Belgium beat the United States in a thrilling last-16 tie.

The Arsenal captain missed the game through injury but his team-mates rose to the occasion to reach the last eight for the first time in 28 years.

Kevin de Bruyne gave Belgium the lead two minutes into extra time and substitute Romelu Lukaku fired in a second 11 minutes later to seemingly end the contest.

But the United States dug deep, reduced the deficit through Julian Green and squandered late chances to take the game to penalties.

Vermaelen is battling to be fit for Belgium's quarter-final against Argentina on Saturday.

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