Jun 17, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
Try as they might, the tournament’s dark horses couldn’t find the light of day against a stingy Algerian defense until Kevin De Bruyne and Marouane Fellaini came together.
Fellaini’s header of a beautiful De Bruyne cross restored a bit of order to Belgium’s match with Algeria, and Dries Mertens made it official with an 80th minute winner the game finished 2-1 to the Group H favorites in both teams’ opener of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But Belgium kept knocking, trying different keys and flat-out charging the door. De Bruyne was fantastic, and deserved to be rewarded by the time Fellaini gave the Red Devils their equalizer.
— Match Zone (@MailMatchZone) June 17, 2014
And then came Martins, another substitute providing the end of a brilliant combination play to put Belgium up 2-1 with a laser into the back of the net.
From that point on, it was all Belgium. The threats on goal didn’t stop, but Adi Mbolhi made some brilliant saves (as he did for much of the day).
The substitutions from Belgian coach Marc Wilmots were spot on, as taking off Tottenham players Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele led to goals from replacements Mertens and Fellaini.
Algeria will be crushed after scoring their first World Cup goal since 1986, and coming so close to pulling off another major upset.
Belgium moves to the top of Group H, while Algeria slips to the bottom. South Korea and Russia will finish off day one of the group at 6pm ET tonight.
Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vertonghen, Witsel, Dembele (Fellaini, 64′), De Bruyne, Hazard, Chadli (Mertens, 46′), Lukaku (Origi, 57′)
Goals: Fellaini (69′), Mertens (79′)
Algeria: Mbolhi, Bougherra, Ghoulam, Halliche, Feghouli, Medjani (Ghilas, 85′), Bentaleb, Soudani (Slimani, 65′), Taider, Mahrez (Lacen, 71′), Mostefa
Goals: Feghouli (PK, 23′)
Aug 1, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 7:56 PM EDT
Two Eastern Conference teams on unbeaten streaks meet at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
Aug 1, 2014, 7:39 PM EDT
The Arsenal captain saw his games drop significantly last season, and would be a fantastic grab for Manchester United.
Aug 1, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
After a very disappointing debut season with Norwich City, the Dutch striker is off to France.
Aug 1, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT
With helpful videos, NBC is getting you ready for the upcoming Premier League season just days away!
Aug 1, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Despite reports to the contrary a month ago, it appears the newly-added Crimean clubs will indeed play in the Russian leagues next season.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
After 13 years at Chelsea, there’s a good chance Frank Lampard could play at Stamford Bridge again…in a lighter shade of blue.
Aug 1, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT
Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham are among the teams who’ve loaded up on talent.
Aug 1, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Silly season has reached an absurd level, with even sports books creating rumors out of club links.
Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
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Aug 1, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
Fans of Detroit City FC helped raise money for slain Michigan referee John Bieniewicz via a “swear jar”, then saluting him with silent red card salute.
Aug 1, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
A great save followed up by an awful rebound, as Hull draws Trencin 0-0 in its Europa League debut.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT
West Ham, Crystal Palace and Newcastle have all added players for 2014/15, according to reports.
Aug 1, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
Would City’s best prospects playing in MLS be a boon for the league, or lend the league a minor league image it’s trying to escape?
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