Belgium 2-1 Algeria: Goals from Dries Mertens and Fellaini put Belgium ahead

Belgium 2-1 Algeria: Goals from Dries Mertens and Fellaini put Belgium ahead

Two goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes saw Belgium come from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 in Group H at the FIFA World Cup.

After being left stunned by Sofiane Feghouli’s first-half penalty, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots made two tactical changes that paid dividends as substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens both found the net to secure victory in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.

Having missed the past two global showpieces, Belgium were caught flat-footed as Feghouli gave Algeria a surprise 25th-minute lead.

The 24-year-old was hauled down by Jan Vertonghen as they stretched for a left-wing cross and Feghouli punished him by sending Thibaut Courtois the wrong way with his spot-kick.

Belgium applied plenty of pressure and eventually got themselves back in the game as Fellaini levelled with a perfectly-placed header in the 70th minute.

Victory was assured with 10 minutes to play when Mertens capped a flowing move, the Napoli midfielder lashing the ball past Rais M’Bolhi.

A cautious start from both sides saw the game bereft of early chances, with Belgium dominating possession and Algeria restricted to breaks on the counter attack.

M’Bolhi was the first to be forced to make a save in the 21st minute as Belgian playmaker Axel Witsel unleashed a powerful strike from 20 yards, but the goalkeeper was equal to it and made a good stop.


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