Let’s face it, today has been all about U.S.A vs Portugal. There were, however some other teams playing prior to the final game of the day out in the Amazon jungle. First up Belgium, everybodies dark horse eked out a 1-0 victory over Russia.
The Belgians have been perhaps weighed down at least a little bit by their tag as outsider darlings, failing to impress against Algeria in a 2-1 opening win.
Next up for Belgian was Russia, coming off of a similarly uninspiring first outing, a 1-1 draw with South Korea. Belgium had to replace Thomas Vermaelen in the 31st minute, when the Arsenal man picked up a knock.
With the Belgians stock of English Premier League talent, Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen was a ready fill in. Vertonghen started the first game, it wasn’t one of his better efforts, but he is still quality.
The game’s only goal did not come until the 88th minute, with Belgian supersub Divock Origi the scorer. Origi did well against Algeria, Sunday he was even better.
Algeria took South Korea apart in a 4-2 win in the day’s second match, becoming the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup game.
Algeria played a direct and athletic style, overwhelming South Korea on the way to a 3-0 half time lead. South Korea looked finished at the break, but the Korean team fought back with a beautiful goal from Son Heung-Min five minutes after the resumption.
Algeria, who got first half tallies from Islam Slimani, Rafike Halliche, and Abdelmoumene Djabou, answered back in the 62nd minute with a fine goal from Yacine Brahimi.
That would have seemed to be that, but not in this World Cup. Sure enough Korea came back with a 73rd minute strike from Koo Ja-Cheol, but Algeria would hang on fror their first World Cup win since 1982.