Tuesday, 17th June
in Belo Horizonte.
Belgium and Algeria have never met at a World Cup Finals but they
have played two international friendly matches; in Brussels (2002) and Annaba (2003).
There were no goals in the Brussels encounter but Belgium did win
(3:1) in Annaba, the following year. That was eleven years ago.
The referee, Marco
Rodriguez of Mexico, has some red card form in previous World Cup Finals.
As one of the FIFA
Referees at South Africa 2010, Rodriguez produced a red card in both of the matches he
refereed: Germany vs Australia
and Chile vs Spain.
As one of the FIFA
Referees at Germany 2006, he also produced two red cards and nine yellow cards in his
second match: Côte d'Ivoire vs
Serbia & Montenegro.
Fingers crossed then.
Algeria took the lead in the 24th minute, after a dozy Jan Vertonghen tugged at Sofiane
Feghouli. Feghouli made no mistake from the spot. With the history of the referee,
Vertonghen can think himself lucky that he didn't see red.
Lukaku started to show his frustration; his team mates needed to wake
up and get up towards him quicker.
Passing the ball around is one thing, but it helps if you pass and
move; to give others the option to make better passes as a result.
So Belgium became the surprise team of the tournamnet as most people
thought they would be; surprised at themselves though, for trailing Algeria at the end of
the first half of their opening game.
Half-time: Belgium 0 - Algeria 1
Not surprising that Algeria started to take their time in the
Marouane Fellaini might not have had the best of seasons in Manchester, but his
introduction in the second half - for Mousa Dembele - brought Belgium back into the game;
as he headed in Kevin De Bruyne's cross, after only six minutes on the pitch.
You can only sit back and defend a penalty lead for so long, especially against a team
that could be the surprise package of the tournament, spiced with inspired second-half
substitutions of the Ottmar Hitzfeld calibre; Dries Mertens, the scorer.
Algeria might feel disappointed after being in front for so long but
in all honesty, they can't be surprised they lost.
Final Score: Belgium 2 - Algeria 1
0:1 - Sofiane Feghouli (24 mins, penalty)
1:1 - Marouane Fellaini (70 mins)
2:1 - Dries Mertens (80 mins)
1-Thibaut Courtois; 2-Toby Alderweireld, 4-Vincent Kompany, 15-Daniel Van Buyten, 5-Jan
Vertonghen; 6-Axel Witsel, 19-Mousa Dembele, 22-Nacer Chadli, 7-Kevin De Bruyne; 10-Eden
Hazard, 9-Romelu Lukaku.
23-Rais M'Bolhi; 5-Rafik Halliche, 2-Madjid Bougherra, 12-Carl Medjani, 3-Faouzi Ghoulam;
14-Nabil Bentaleb, 22-Mehdi Mostefa, 19-Saphir Taider; 21-Riyad Mahrez, 15-Hilal Soudani,
Referee: Marco Rodriguez - Mexico
2 yellow cards:
23 mins - Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)
32 mins - Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria)
Russia vs South Korea
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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