Dries Mertens (left) and Marouane Fellaini scored the goals for Belgium © Getty Images
Dries Mertens (left) and Marouane Fellaini scored the goals for Belgium © Getty Images


Belo Horizonte (Brazil): Jun 18, 2014


Belgium survived a massive scare as they came back from a goal down to beat a very defensive Algeria 2-1 in a FIFA World Cup 2014 Group H clash at the Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.


Sofiane Feghouli scored Algeria’s first FIFA World Cup finals goal in 28 years through a 25th minute penalty much against the run of play. Substitute Marouane Fellaini levelled the scores with a bullet header in the 70th minute while another substitute Dries Mertens completed Belgium’s comeback 10 minutes later.


Belgium top Group H prior to South Korea taking on Russia later on but they were made to work hard for their victory. For all the 66 per cent possession, they found it hard to breach an Algerian defence that sat back and defended with 10 men.


The Belgians dominated possession right from the outset. With 25 minutes gone they held 65 percent of the possession but had just one shot on goal. Algeria in their first real attack of the match found the Belgium defence wanting, especially Jan Vertonghen, who pulled back Feghouli inside the box for a clear penalty.


The forward picked himself up and slotted the ball in casually to give Algeria the surprise lead. Belgium didn’t get perturbed and once again hogged all the possession but could not find a breakthrough. Fellaini scored his first goal in 10 months just after being on the pitch for just five minutes.


Former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne’s precise cross was met by the big Manchester United man, who bulleted in the header. Chelsea star Eden Hazard then started stretching Algeria’s defence with his trickery and speed.


Hazard was instrumental in Belgium’s winner as he broke through the middle and found Mertens in acres of space and the substitute smashed the ball into the top netting to give his team the deserved lead. Belgium’s only concern is at the back. Their defence looked a little shaky in the few chances Algeria created.


Their attacking play was solid and they kept the ball well. They will find more space to work with in the coming matches when the opposition won’t be as defensive as Algeria.


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