Underwhelming Belgium come from behind to defeat dogged Algeria.

Date: June 17, 2014

Result: Belgium 2-1 Algeria

Scorers:

Belgium:

  • Fellaini 70
  • Mertens 80

Algeria:

  • Sofiane Feghouli pen. 24

VenueEstadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte

Attendance: 56,800

 

Match overview: Belgium have never lost to an African nation at a World Cup – beating Morocco 1-0 at USA ’94 and drawing 1-1 with Tunisia at South Korea/Japan 2002. With a combined total of 381 caps, Algeria’s squad was the least experienced at Brazil 2014 and had also scored the fewest goals (42).

Key moment: Bringing on Marouane Fellaini. Marc Wilmots had already made two changes, but it was the introduction of Fellaini that changed the game. The Manchester United striker exorcised some personal demons by scoring the equaliser and came close to adding second later on.

Man of the match: Eden Hazard. Against a well organised Algerian defence, Hazard always looked the player most likely to make the breakthrough. His perfectly weighted pass for Dries Mertens created the the second goal.

Matter of fact: Sofiane Feghoul’s spot kick was the first goal Algeria had scored at the World Cup since Djamel Zidane scored in a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland at Spain in 1982. It was Fellaini’s first goal since he scored for Everton in a Capital One Cup tie in August 2013.

Talking point: Belgium made hard work of what looked like a relatively easy assignment against an inexperienced Algeria side. Potential winners? Certainly not on this evidence. If nothing else, though, this experience will certainly ward off any future complacency.

 

Stats:

Goal attempts

  • Belgium 16
  • Algeria 3

On target

  • Belgium 10
  • Algeria 1

Corners

  • Belgium 7
  • Algeria 2

 

Line-ups:

Belgium:

  • 01 Courtois
  • 02 Alderweireld
  • 05 Vertonghen
  • 19 Dembélé (Fellaini – 65′ )
  • 15 van Buyten
  • 04 Kompany
  • 07 De Bruyne
  • 06 Witsel
  • 09 Lukaku (Origi – 58′ )
  • 22 Chadli (Mertens – 45′ )
  • 10 Hazard

Algeria:

  • 23 M’Bolhi
  • 22 Mostefa
  • 03 Ghoulam
  • 12 Medjani (Ghilas – 84′ )
  • 02 Bougherra
  • 05 Halliche
  • 10 Feghouli
  • 19 Taïder
  • 15 Soudani (Slimani – 66′ )
  • 14 Bentaleb
  • 21 Mahrez (Lacen – 71′ )

 

Scorers:

Belgium:

  • Fellaini 70
  • Mertens 80

Algeria:

  • Sofiane Feghouli pen. 24

 

Yellow cards:

Belgium:

  • Vertonghen 24

Algeria:

  • Bentaleb 34

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico)