The plucky Algerians stunned Belgium by grabbing a 1-0 lead thanks to a converted penalty by Sofiane Feghouli in the 25th minute. Feghouli earned the PK when Jan Vertonghen pushed him down in the box while he tried to connect with a beautiful pass from Faouzi Ghoulam. Feghouli’s goal was Algeria’s first World Cup goal since 1986, and snapped a record-tying five-match scoreless streak at the World Cup.
Dark horses on their way to the dark glue factory?— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) June 17, 2014
But the Algerian resilience faded and the Belgians wore them down, capitalizing on a Marouane Fellaini header via a Kevin De Bruyne cross in the 72nd minute to level the score. Dries Mertens crushed all hope for Algeria with a rocket of a strike on the counter in the 80th minute.
GOALS FOR BELGIUM, DELICIOUS WAFFLES FOR ALL— Justin Karp (@jskarp) June 17, 2014
Man of the Match
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium – Easily the most consistent performer of the match for his side, he provided a beautiful cross on the game-tying goal by Fellaini, and sparked the counter that led to Mertens' go-ahead goal.
Dries Mertens' go-ahead goal provided the exclamation point on Belgium's comeback, especially after a nervy first 60 minutes where everyone's favorite World Cup dark horse looked to be in trouble.
Algeria sure loves losing games in the group stage late.— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) June 17, 2014
The Algerian team celebrates after Sofiane Feghouli's goal in the 25th minute. More on that celebration here.
Belgium clears its first hurdle despite struggling early, and gains confidence and momentum heading into their match against Russia. Algeria has to feel deflated, but needs to regroup before playing South Korea.