The Lille forward came off the bench to crash high into the net with just two minutes left after some mesmerising play by Eden Hazard on the flank.
The breakthrough arrived just moments after Kevin Mirallas had hit the post, but in truth it was very harsh on Fabio Capello's Russia.
The Red Devils have been tipped to go far in this tournament but again struggled to impress as the Russians carved out the better openings.
Russia looked all set to earn the draw but were undone late on as Belgium stepped it up in the final five minutes to snatch victory.
PRE-MATCH: Super subs start for Belgium, but not for Russia. Dries Mertens and Marouane Fellaini, the goalscoring substitutes from Belgium's win over Algeria, earn a starting place. Spurs trio Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli drop to the bench. Joint all-time leading goalscorer for Russia, Aleksandr Kherzhakov was the saviour in the 1-1 draw with South Korea, but he remains among the substitutes.
12' - RUSSIA CHANCE! Faizulin picks up a pass from the left and fizzes in a low shot that Courtois gets down well to parry. Fine effort and a good stop.
27' - RUSSIA PENALTY SHOUT. Kanunnikov beats Alderweireld to the ball inside the Belgium penalty area. The forward goes down but the referee says no. That was a good shout for a spot kick.
35' - BELGIUM CHANCE! Akinfeev beats away Mertens' cross-shot from a tight angle after the Napoli winger jinked beyond his man on the right and steamed into the box.
44' - RUSSIA CHANCE! Glushakov curls a superb left-wing ball into Kokorin who gets between two defenders but plants his free header wide of the post with the goal gaping.
81' - RUSSIA CHANCE! SO CLOSE! A flowing Russia move sees the ball worked to Eshchenko who arrives on the right edge of the area and flashes a shot inches wide of the far post.
84' - OFF THE POST! Mirallas steps up and hits a low free kick that smashes against the left-hand post and bounces away.
88' - GOAL ! BELGIUM 1-0 RUSSIA. Origi hammers the ball high into the Russian net after some superb play by Hazard down the left. The Chelsea man gets to the byline and cuts it back for the Lille forward who crashes home.
Belgium’s last five World Cup goals have come in the final 20 minutes of matches.
Belgium kept a clean sheet for the first time in eight World Cup fixtures.
Belgium are unbeaten in eight World Cup group stage games (W3 D5).
Belgium scored with their first shot on target.
Despite coming on as a substitute in the 31st minute, Jan Vertonghen made five interceptions. Only four players have managed more in a game in this tournament.
Russia have kept one clean sheet in their eight World Cup matches since the start of the 1994 tournament.
Axel Witsel completed all 35 of his passes. Only two players have completed more passes at 100% accuracy in matches at this tournament.
All three of Belgium’s goals at this tournament have been scored by substitutes.
There have now been 15 substitute goals at World Cup 2014, as many as there were in the whole of the 2010 edition.
Belgium have won their opening two games at a World Cup for the third time in their last five appearances.
Are Belgium REALLY dark horses? There's no doubt the Red Devils boast a wealth of talent throughout their squad, but in a pool you would expect them to impress in, they have so far struggled to get out of first gear. Marc Wilmots' side should still top Group H, but unless they step it up for the knockout stage against stronger opposition they could well be heading home earlier than many expected.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Divock Origi (Belgium): The teenager replaced the ineffective Lukaku and was in the right place at the right time to fire in the winner. Goals win games and this 19-year-old will be knocking on the door for a start now.
BELGIUM: Courtois 7, Alderweireld 5, Van Buyten 6, Kompany 7, Vermaelen 5, Witsel, De Bruyne 6, Fellaini 6, Hazard 7, Mertens 7, Lukaku 5. Subs: Vertonghen 6, Origi 7, Mirallas 7.
RUSSIA: Akinfeev 6, Kombarov 6, Berezutskiy 6, Ignashevich 6, Glushakov 7, Kokorin 5, Shatov 5, Samedov 6, Fayzulin 7, Kozlov 6, Kanunnikov 7. Subs: Eshchenko 7, Dzagoev 5, Kerzhakov n/a.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Kevin Mirallas
- Eden Hazard
- Divock Origi
- Thibaut Courtois
- Dries Mertens
- Andrey Eshchenko