Sweet finish as Belgium finish off Algeria

23:26, Jun 17 2014
Sofiane Feghouli
Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team's first goal from a penalty kick against Belgium at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Dries Mertens
Belgium's Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring a goal against Algeria during his side's World Cup Group H football match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Mehdi Mostefa
Algeria's Mehdi Mostefa, left, fights for the ball with Belgium's Eden Hazard during their World Cup Group H football match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Marouane Fellaini
Belgium's Marouane Fellaini, left, and Dries Mertens celebrate after their World Cup Group H football match against Algeria at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Saphir Taider
Saphir Taider of Algeria and Axel Witsel of Belgium compete for the ball during their World Cup Group H match at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Dries Mertens
Belgium's Dries Mertens, centre, celebrates after scoring a goal during his side's World Cup Group H football match against Algeria at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Hwang Seok-Ho
Hwang Seok-Ho of South Korea consoles Kim Young-Gwon during their World Cup Group H match against Russia at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Brazil.
Victor Fayzulin
Victor Fayzulin of Russia controls the ball against Han Kook-Young (left) and Lee Yong of South Korea during their Group H match at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Brazil.
Ki Sung-yueng
South Korea's Ki Sung-yueng (bottom) fouls Russia's Alexander Samedov during their Group H 1-1 draw at the World Cup.
Vasili Berezutskiy
Russia's Vasili Berezutskiy consoles goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev (right) after Akinfeev conceded a goal to South Korea's Lee Keun-ho during their World Cup Group H football match.
Lee Keun-ho
South's Korea's players pile on top of teammate Lee Keun-ho as they celebrate his goal against Russia during their World Cup football match at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba, Brazil.
Alexander Kerzhakov
Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov (top right) celebrates his goal with teammates during their 1-1 draw with South Korea at the World Cup.
Divock Origi
Belgium's Divock Origi (centre) celebrates with teammates Marouane Fellaini (left) and Kevin De Bruyne a 1-0 win over Russia.
Kevin Mirallas
Belgium's Divock Origi (17) celebrates with Belgium's Kevin Mirallas after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup Group H football match against Russia at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Divock Origi
Belgium's Divock Origi (17) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a late goal against Russia.
Igor Akinfeev
Belgian teenager Divock Origi scores his team's only goal past Igor Akinfeev of Russia during the Group H match between Belgium and Russia at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Alexey Kozlov
Russia's Alexey Kozlov (right) fights for the ball during his side's 1-0 loss to Belgiumi.
Rafik Halliche
Algeria's Rafik Halliche celebrates his goal against South Korea at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
Islam Slimani
Algeria's Islam Slimani (centre) scores a goal next to South Korea's Kim Young-gwon (left) and Hong Jeong-ho during their World Cup Group H football match.
Abdelmoumene Djabou
Algeria's Abdelmoumene Djabou (right) celebrates after scoring a goal as South Korea's Han Kook-young (left) and Ki Sung-yueng react.
Son Heung-Min
A dejected Son Heung-Min of South Korea walks off the pitch after a 4-2 loss to Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Yacine Brahimi
Algeria's Yacine Brahimi celebrates with Madjid Bougherra, Nabil Bentaleb and Rafik Halliche after scoring a goal against Algeria at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
Carl Medjani
Carl Medjani (far left), Djamel Mesbah, Essaid Belkalem, Rafik Halliche and Medhi Lacen of Algeria celebrate after defeating South Korea 4-2 in Porto Alegre.
Fabio Capello
Head coach Fabio Capello of Russia speaks to Vasily Berezutskiy and Aleksandr Kerzhakov during his side's World Cup Group H match against Algeria at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Vasili Berezutskiy
Russia's Vasili Berezutskiy (left) jumps for the ball with Algeria's Islam Slimani during their 1-1 draw at the Baixada arena in Curitiba.
Islam Slimani
Algeria's Islam Slimani celebrates after scoring a goal against Russia.
Igor Denisov
Igor Denisov of Russia challenges Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Carl Medjani
Carl Medjani of Algeria challenges Oleg Shatov of Russia during their World Cup Group H match.
Alexander Kokorin
Alexander Kokorin of Russia celebrates scoring his team's goal against Algeria with teammate Oleg Shatov on his back.
Marouane Fellaini
Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini challenges South Korea's Kim Young-Gwon during their Group H clash at Arena de Sao Paulo.
Son Heung-mini
South Korea's Son Heung-min (left) and Belgium's Steven Defour fight for the ball.
Son Heung-mini
South Korea's Hong Jeong-Ho and Belgium's Divock Origi compete for possession.
Jan Vertonghen
Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen scores the only goal of the game to give his side a 1-0 win.
Steven Defour
Referee Benjamin Williams shows Belgium's Steven Defour a straight red card for a two-footed tackle.

Much-fancied Belgium fought back from a goal down to score twice in the final 20 minutes and earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over gutsy Algeria in their World Cup Group H opener on Tuesday (local time).

Substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens turned the game around after Algeria playmaker Sofiane Feghouli had given them a 25th minute lead with a penalty at the Mineirao stadium.

Belgium, back at the World Cup after a 12-year absence, enjoyed the majority of possession but struggled to break down a disciplined two-line Algerian defence which kept Eden Hazard and forward Romelu Lukaku well in check.

The Algerians, with El Arabi Soudani surprisingly in the starting lineup for key forward Islam Slimani, posed little threat up front with winger Riyad Mahrez firing well wide in their only foray in the Belgian box early in the game.

They were far more successful the second time they ventured forward when left back Jan Vertonghen brought down Feghouli after a fine cross from Faouzi Ghoulam.

Feghouli calmly fired past keeper Thibaut Courtois to end his country's 28-year wait for a World Cup goal and send the green-white-clad Algerian fans delirious.

Belgium's Axel Witsel tried his luck with a couple of long-range shots but the Red Devils looked nothing like the menacing team that qualified unbeaten for the tournament.

Coach Marc Wilmots, the last Belgium player to score in a World Cup before Tuesday, took off lacklustre Lukaku early in the second half, bringing on teenager Divock Origi in the hope of breathing new life into his team.

It almost paid off instantly when the 19-year-old raced clear but failed to beat keeper Rais Mbohli with Algeria firmly on the backfoot.

It was Wilmots' other substitute, Fellaini, who delivered when he rose high to meet a Kevin De Bruyne cross and drill his header off the bar and into goal on 70 minutes.

The Desert Foxes, who had hardly put a foot wrong in defence, were caught napping 10 minutes later when Hazard raced down the left wing, and cut back perfectly for subsititute Mertens to fire in for the win.

Advertisement

Romelu Lukaku
DANGERMEN: Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, right, and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne.
Romelu Lukaku
DANGERMEN: Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, right, and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne.
Marouane Fellaini
USING HIS HEAD: Striker Marouane Fellaini high-fives manager Marc Wilmots after his second half header levelled the scores with Algeria, before Belgium won 2-1 in Belo Horizonte.

Reuters