Belgium sealed the top spot in Group H with a third straight win and they did it in impressive fashion. After going a man down in just the 44th minute midfielder Steven Defour was sent off with the score still 0-0, Belgium managed to score in the 77th minute with a goal from defender Jan Vertonghen. Algeria, meanwhile, came back from a goal down against Russia to reach the knockout stage for the first time in the nation's history.
The Russians will have a lot of questions for manager Fabio Capello, who was the highest paid manager in this World Cup by a wide margin, and watched his team play three dire matches. Shirtless Vladimir Putin will not be pleased.
Belgium — They didn't do it with the exhuberance and flash people expected from their talented young squad, but it's hard to complain about three wins. Instead of piling in the goals, Belgium displayed an unexpected discipline in churning out results. They came from behind to beat Algeria, scored late to beat Russia and, most impressively, scored with 10-men to beat Korea. The U.S. should give Belgium a tougher test than any of their group-stage opponents, though.
Algeria — Like Belgium it was Algeria's determination that got them through. They've allowed at least one goal in every match thus far, but their charging attack was able to score more than Belgium (5-4) in the group stage. The round of 16 brings a tasty match against Germany and there is a bit of history there. At the 1982 World Cup, West Germany conspired with Austria to ensure they would advance from the group stage at the expense of Algeria and Chile.
Man of the Group: Thibaut Courtois, Belgium. The 22-year-old goalkeeper hasn't conceded a goal since the 25th minute of Belgium's first match and even that was a penalty. He helped Atletico Madrid win La Liga and reach the Champions League final last season and he is the main reason why Belgium won three matches with just four goals.
Best Goal: Poor Igor Akinfeev.
Best Match: Korea 2-4 Algeria. After an opening loss to Belgium, this was where Algeria looked like a team that could advance and clearly started to believe they could do it.
Deserved Better: Whoever is paying Fabio Capello.