Belgium Overcome Resolute Algeria

Belgium Overcome Resolute Algeria

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Substitutes Marouane Felliaini and Dries Mertens helped Belgium open their FIFA World Cup campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Algeria in a Group H match played in Belo-Horizonte.

Belgium dominated early proceedings but saw each attacking move thwarted by a staunch Algerian defence that dispossessed Chelsea star Eden Hazard and striker Romelu Lukaku each time they got the ball.

Feghouli puts Algeria ahead [via official FIFA facebook page]

It was therefore against the run of play when Algeria took the lead in the 24th minute through a Sofiane Feghouli penalty after the Valencia midfielder was brought down by Jan Vertonghen.

Feghouli’s goal is Algeria’s first World Cup goal since Djamel Zidane’s goal at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and Algeria weathered more Belgium pressure to lead at half-time.

The introduction of Dries Mertens for Nacer Chadli saw Belgium exert more purposeful pressure on the Algerian goal, but Rais Mbohli kept the north Africans ahead.

Fellaini would however break the resistance minutes after coming on, heading in a Kevin de Bruyne cross to level for Belgium 20 minutes from time.

Mertens celebrates Belgium's winner [via official FIFA facebook page]

Mertens completed the comeback 10 minutes later, finishing off a swift counterattack with a fierce shot past Mbohli.

Fellaini came close to getting a second late on but Mbohli kept out the Manchester United midfielder’s header as Belgium settled for a 2-1 win.

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