FIFA World Cup 2014: Belgium 2-1 Algeria - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
Welcome to our live coverage of the World Cup Group H game between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirão, in Belo Horizonte. The Group H opener marks the clash between two teams who are expected to give in their best and gain onus in the Group.
Perfect outing for Fellaini, is Louis van Gaal noticing?
So Belgium win and what massive three points its for them. They are expected to win this Group and that has been a perfect started. As they say how quick fortunes can change in World Cup encounters and that was witnessed. Dembele, Chadli and Lukaku misfired for the red Devils but Mertens and Fellaini paid Wilmots's faith in them.
Full Time Belgium 2-1 Algeria.
90+3'- Algeria get a final throw of the dart with a throw in the Belgian box but it gets cleared. Belgium are on the counter as Vertonghen sets Hazard on the left. The Chelsea forward keeps hold of the ball as the referee blows the whistle.
90+2'- Belgium looks set for the three points. Last few seconds here. Algeria win a throw-in, deep in Belgium territory. The ball's put into the Belgium penalty area, but they clear.
90'- Three minutes of added time. Belgium have come strong when it mattered the most.
89'- Closing stages in the match and Belgium has produced a supoerb comeback. Can they hang on? By the way fellaini was flagged off side therefore he stopped at the right time I guess.
87'- Another good move by 19-year old Origi down the right who makes a cross which Fellaini chests it to shoot but he doesn't control it well and the ball is cleared.
83'- Fellaini goes close to increasing Belgium's lead with another fine header. The cross came from - Daniel van Buyen - on the right flank and it took a fine save from Rais Mbolhi to keep the ball out. Belgium looking dangerous now and they should be given their team.
81'- What a goal for Belgium. The two substitutions have made the trick work. Mertens has been their best player in the second half. We are set for a lively last 20 minutes here.
80'- Goal Its Belgium 2-1 Algeria. Mertens scores for the Red Devils. Belgium go on the counter-attack and find themselves bearing down on the Algeria goal with a three-on-two. The ball's played from the left to Eden Hazrd, who lets it run across him to Dries Mertens. He looks up, picks his spot and steers the ball past Rais Mbolhi.
79'- Belgium need another goal and they look positive to get it. A draw is something they will rue to the most.
78'- With Belgium on the attack, the ball's played inside the left-back for Mertens to chase. He gets to it, but is dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area by a good challenge from Lacen.
77'- A lot more is happening now. There is a sense of purpose in the Belgian players. They look to make things happen.
76'- The statistics show that Belgium have dominated possession and had more shots (13 to Algeria's three) than their opponents. But only one stat counts - and that's the one at the top of this page. But Belgium almost make that 2-1 as Jan Vertonghen sweeps in a cross from the left which the Desert Foxes clear.
75'- Belgium get a corner but nothing comes out of it.
73'- Ageria have made another substitution. Mehdi Lacen, a defensive midfielder who plays for Getafe, has replaced Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
71'- A big moment for Belgium here. The Manchester United midfielder has scored Belgium's first goal in Brazil and now the Belgian camp will hope to provide more effectiveness from their play which was missing.
70'- Goal Belgium 1-1 Algeria. Marouane Fellaini scores with a sublime header. Assist by Kevin De Bruyne. The Wolfsburg player hips in a cross from the left flank which Marouane Fellaini leaps to head past Rais Mbolhi.
66'- Belgium substitute Divock Origi has just missed a glorious opportunity to level the scores. Having been put clean through on goal with only Rais Mbolhi to beat, he made a mess of his shot and fired a weak effort straight at the keeper.
65'- Algeria substitution. A striker for a striker. El Arabi Soudani off, Islam Slimani on.
64'- Substitution for Belgium Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini replaces Mousa Dembele.
62'- The Algerian defence has caused a big barrage for the Belgium palyers to deal with. So far so good for Algeria. Belgium looking quiet at the moment. It isn't something they would have expected.
61'- Faozi Ghoulam gives away possession inside the Belgium half, giving Belgium another chance to work their way through the Algerian defence. Again, they fail to do so, with Eden Hazard running down another blind alley before being dispossessed.
60'- Algeria in possession as we enter the hour mark in the match. Vertonghen commits another foul in the left side of the central half as Algeria get a free kick.
59'- Algeria win another corner, but nothing comes of it. With Belgium advancing on their goal, they remain in position - all 11 of them - camped about 30 yards from their own goal. Belgium have had very limited success in breaking them down.
57'- Substitution 19-year-old Lille striker Divock Origi replaces Romelu Lukaku who failed to make any impact in the entire match so far.
55'- Kompany clears the ball with a powerful header in the defensive half. As Algeria advance with Van Buyten making a good clearence for a corner. The corner is taken and Carl Medjani gets his head to the ball and flicks it on. Soudani isn't quite there to steer it home.
53'- Belgium win another free-kick, wide on the right flank, in line with the edge of the penalty area. Mertens plays delivery man again, swinging the ball across the edge of the six yard box. Mbolhi darts off his line to punch clear, but wins a free-kick for a Kevin de Bruyne challenge that is ajudged to be a foul.
51'- Mehdi Mostefa brings Hazard down and still escapes a caution from the referee. Meanwhile, Lukaku attempts to head the ball in the Algerian penalty area, but is parried off. Its still Belgium 0-1 Algeria.
50'- Mertens has brought a whole new sense of life to the Belgian side. The Red Devils look more threatening now. Mertens makes a cross to Lukaku at the near post. His cross is too weak and goes straight into the arms of Mbolhi. But positive signs here for Belgium.
49'- Corner for Belgium. Mertens take the corner and plants a powerful shot in the crowded penalty area as Witsel heads out over the cross bar. Little time to react there.
48'- Mertens gets his first touch, playing the ball into the penalty area in a bid to pick out Eden Hazard. Rais Mbolhi is quick off his line to snuff out the danger.
46'- Algeria get a free kick in the Belgian half. Ball back with Belgium as they make a move from the left. Dembele looks to find Lukaku but the through pass goes straight to the keeper.
The players are out and the second half is underway. Substitution for Belgium Nacer Chadli makes way for Dries Mertens. The Napoli man will take the position on the right flank.
So one goal separating the two sides so far. Algeria will be ecstatic with their opponents not offering anything substantial so far. They have looked compact and have come well prepared to shut down this Belgian side.
45+1'- Half Time It's Belgium 0-1 Algeria
45'- One minute added to which has been a frustrating first half for the Red Devils so far. Hazard finds himself darting between the lines and drilling a low, hard cross along the edge of the six-yard box. There's nobody there to make something out of it.
43'- A cutting edge finaal from Belgium. Hazard sets Chadli on the Algeria box with Lukaku arriving, but the Tottenham forward makes a weak attempt which goes straight to the Algerian goalkeeper. Lukaku isn't happy.
42'- Nacer Chadli attempts to score with an effort from distance, but doesn't trouble Mbolhi.
41'- Frustrated faces in the Belgium line-up. The golden generation has missed the zeal which is surprising to see.
40'- Romelu Lukaku, who's barely had any impact so far, picks up the ball outside the Algeria penalty area, on the edge of a final third which has been congested throughout. He's immediately dispossessed by Madjid Bougherra, who slides in and comes away with the ball.
39'- Belgium win a free-kick a few yards outside the Algeria penalty area, well right of centre. Kevin de Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen stand over the ball. Vertonghen takes the free-kick and shoots at goal, but sends his effort high and wide.
37'- Belgium's players are starting to look a little stressed. They need to work it out and come fresh in the second half.
36'- Belgium looking to reinstate their authority in the Algerian half. So far Algeria will be happy.
35'- A couple of long-range efforts from Belgium's players. Axel Witsel and Chadli bring saves out of Mbolhi, who remains relatively untroubled by both efforts.
33'- Yellow cardfor Nabil Bentaleb for a retaliatory foul on Mousa Dembele, who had kicked him a few seconds previously. He joins Vertonghen in the book - the defender was cautioned for the foul that led to Algeria's goal.
32'- Belgium win a corner, which Kevin De Bruyne sends sailing to the far post and high over the head of Romelu Lukaku.
31'- Ball still with Belgium. Bruyne is set by Chadli and he tries to make a grounded cross from the right which was seen off by the Algerian defence.
29'- Free kick awarded to Belgium in the Algerian defensive half. De Bruyne takes the shot but is wide.
26'- Really unnecessary from Vertonghen. With Algeria launching a rare counter-attack down the left flank, he was just jogging along behind Feghouli as Algeria's star man made his way into the penalty area.He grabbed the midfielder and attempted to drag him backwards. The referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot immediately.
25'- Who would have expected this. By the way this is Algeria's first World Cup goal after 28 years.
24'- Goal Algeria 1-0 Belgium. Sofiane Feghouli won the penalty and goes on to score it, striking the ball low and a little right of centre, to beat Thibaut Courtois, who dived the wrong way.
23'- Penalty for Algeria. Jan Vertonghen drags back his man to concede a penalty. Yellow Card for the Tottenham central defender.
22'- lgeria attempt to play the ball out from the back and win a free-kick when Nacer Chadli barges over Mahrez.
20'- 'First real save of the match. Axel Witsel finds himself in space about 30 yards from the Algeria goal and lets fly with a screamer. His shot is wonderfully taken and it brings a decent save out of Rais Mbolhi in the Algeria goal.20 minutes have gone and we are still goalless here.
19'- Algeria move forward from the left and Riyad Mahrez tries his luck with a long-range effort. High and wide.
18'- Algeria have looked not to give away anything. Their plan to keep Hazard shut has worked.
17'- Lukaku picks out Witsel in midfield, who immediately plays it wide to Hazard on the left. Algeria clear again.
16'- Romelu Lukaku attempts to control the ball with his back to goal in the Algeria half, on the edge of the final third. Bougherra darts out and doesn't give him an inch in which to turn, forcing the striker to miscontrol and lose possession.
15'- Much of the ball in the centre. Still no penetration from Belgium.
13'- Belgium are getting hold of possession but Algeria have tied them down. The plan to set Hazard off isn't working yet.
11'- A triumph, of sorts, for Eden Hazard. He wins a throw-in while trying to turn deep in Algeria territory. Jan Vertonghen takes a long throw, but sends the ball flying over the head of Romelu Lukaku. Rafik Halliche clears.
10'- 10 minutes have gone by no shots on target from either teams so far. Algeria are looking compact so far. Dembele earns a throw for Belgium in the Algeria half.
8'- For the second time in quick succession, Eden Hazard is robbed of possession in the Algeria right-back position. He appeals for a free-kick. None is forthcoming.
7'- Good to see Algeria with the ball. They are enjoying much of the ball possession for now. Belgium advance and Kevin De Bruyne picks out Eden Hazard on the left flank. Mehdi Mostefa is immediately on to him, robs possession and clears.
6'- Algeria win a throw-in deep in their own half, which Nabil Bentalib hurls down the field. They win another throw-in approximately halfway inside the Belgium half.
4'- Belgium love holding possession in midfield. The question is the impetus of their cutting edge.
3'- The ball's lumped long from the back by ALgeria keeper Rais Mbolhi and sent back his way off a Belgian head. Riyad Mahrez takes possession and sends a cross from deep in to the Belgium penalty area. Jan Vertonghen heads clear.
2'- Belgium are playing with Kevin de Bruyne on the right flank, Eden Hazard on the left and Nacer Chadli playing behind Romelu Lukaku.
1'- And the game has begun. Algeria looks down to settle in possession in the opening minute.
Electric atmosphere and the who stadium looks lively and colorful. We are underway here and Belgium will look to come on top here, what matters is by how many goals they win the match.
The teams are out of the tunnel as the national anthems are being sung.
Belgium v Algeria - line-ups
Belgium: 1-Thibaut Courtois; 2-Toby Alderweireld, 4-Vincent Kompany, 5-Jan Vertonghen, 15-Daniel Van Buyten; 7-Kevin De Bruyne, 22-Nacer Chadli, 6-Axel Witsel, 19-Mousa Dembele; 10-Eden Hazard, 9-Romelu Lukaku
Algeria: 23-Rais Mbolhi; 2-Madjid Bougherra, 3-Faouzi Ghoulam, 5-Rafik Halliche, 12-Carl Medjani; 14-Nabil Bentaleb, 10-Sofiane Feghouli, 21-Riyad Mahrez, 22-Mehdi Mostefa, 19-Saphir Taider; 15-El Arabi Soudani
Referee: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico)
Belgium boasts of a golden generation which includes a star-studded line-up playing for top European clubs in the world. Belgium topped their Group in the World Cup qualifiers and will look to repeat the success in Brazil.
Belgium is playing in a major tournament for the first time since 2002, but this year they ar. Its attack is filled with options, including this altogether a different force. English Premier League stars, Romelu Lukaku; Chelsea’s Eden Hazard; Man City’s Vincent Kompany are some of the players in a team filled with stars. In Atletico goalkeeper Thiabut Curtois and Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne they have an interesting young duo. An unsung hero is Axel Witsel, who directs play from a defensive midfield position.
Meanwhile, Algeria will look to provide a stern test and show they aren’t to be taken lightly. Apart from Islam Slimani they don’t have major names but with no expectations and nothing to lose, they can produce a surprise in this Group.
Belgium is expected to win this one and also top the Group as they are considered the dark horses of this tournament. Algeria will try to stop this Belgian force and come with a point at least which will be a big achievement for them.
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