Belgium fight back to beat Algeria 2-1
Two goals in 10 second-half minutes by substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens gave Belgium a 2-1 comeback victory over Algeria after the north Africans had threatened a shock result in their World Cup Group H match on Tuesday.
Algeria had not scored in more than eight hours of World Cup tournament play dating back to 1986, but ended that streak with a Sofiane Feghouli penalty after 25 minutes, awarded when he was clumsily pulled back by Jan Vertonghen.
Belgium were rated fifth-favourites to win the World Cup but struggled to make an impact until Kevin De Bruyne picked out Fellaini, on as a substitute four minutes earlier, to cleverly head in from 13 metres after 70 minutes.
Yet another World Cup comeback was completed 10 minutes later when fellow sub Mertens lashed in the second from a tight angle to put Belgium top of a group also containing Russia and South Korea, who meet later on Tuesday.
Belgium:Â 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
Substitutes:Â 3-Thomas Vermaelen, 8-Marouane Fellaini, 11-Kevin Mirallas, 12-Simon Mignolet, 13-Sammy Bossut, 14-Dries Mertens, 16-Steven Defour, 17-Divock Origi, 18-Nicolas Lombaerts, 20-Adnan Januzaj, 21-Anthony Vanden Borre, 23-Laurent Ciman
Algeria:Â 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
Substitutes:Â 1-Cedric Si Mohamed, 4-Essaid Belkalem, 6-Djamel Mesbah, 7-Hassan Yebda, 8-Mehdi Lacen, 9-Nabil Ghilas, 11-Yacine Brahimi, 13-Islam Slimani, 16-Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche, 17-Liassine Cadamuro, 18-Abdelmoume Djabou, 20-Aissa Mandi.