The Soviet Union eliminated Belgium from the 1982 World Cup here tonight with a 1-0 victory, setting up what promises to be a dramatic game against Poland Sunday to determine one of the four semifinalists.
Earlier today in Madrid, Austria became the first of the 12 second-round participants to be eliminated after a 2-2 tie with upstart Northern Ireland.
The Soviets won on a goal three minutes into the second half by defender Khoren Oganesian, who converted a chip-shot pass from Yuri Gavrilov on the left side.
The play turned around a game that had seen the bigger and slower Belgians surprisingly take charge offensively. After the Soviet goal, the Belgians were forced to continue their attack, but their offensive thrusts stalled in midfield or led to unconcentrated shots that went high over the net.
In the 75th minute, Belgium had an excellent scoring opportunity after an indirect free kick was called inside the penalty area against goalkeeper Renat Dassayev for taking too many steps. Dassayev redeemed himself with a good reflex save with his feet, and the Belgians never had another serious opportunity.
On the other hand, the Soviets made two or three good runs after being taunted by an impatient crowd, including a strong individual effort by Oleg Blokhine, who sprinted 50 yards with the ball after a throw from Dassayev and managed to get a shot on goal despite pressure from a defender. But Belgian goalie Jacques Munaron made the stop.
In the first half, the Soviets, with the exception of several early bursts led by Ramas Shengiliya and Oleg Blokhine, seemed content to lay back and wait for opportunities to counterattack. Dassayev made several alert saves in that half and cut off a number of well-placed Belgian crossing passes.
Austria was still alive with 15 minutes left in its game with Northern Ireland, but then goalkeeper Friedl Koncilia was unable to cut off Jimmy Nicholl, who had broken free on the right wing.
Nicholl lifted the ball over to Billy Hamilton, who scored his second goal of the match as Austrian sweeper Bruno Pezzey was unable to clear the ball from the goal line.
Hamilton opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a header after receiving a crossing pass from Gerry Armstrong. The Ulstermen looked as though they were going to take control until Gernot Jurtin forced goalkeeper Jim Platt to extend himself completely to turn a powerful shot around the goal post with three minutes left in the half.
In the 51st minute, after a corner kick from Walter Schachner, Pezzey scored one of the trickiest goals in the tournament to date. With two defenders surrounding him, he redirected a Jurtin shot with the back of his heel.
Hintermaier made it 2-1 for Austria with a free kick at 68 minutes that went through a hole in the Northern Ireland defensive wall.
The Austrians appeared to give up after Hamilton's equalizing goal, however, and Sammy McIlroy had a chance to win it for Northern Ireland in the last minute, but his wide-open shot sailed well over the net.
The result means France needs only a tie against Northern Ireland Sunday to clinch a semifinal berth. Northern Ireland must win.