• Belgium 2-1 Algeria
  • Russia 1-1 South Korea
  • Belgium 1-0 Russia
  • South Korea 2-4 Algeria
  • South Korea 0-1 Belgium
  • Algeria 1-1 Russia
Tab 1
Stacks Image 13095

The Algerian scorer, Feghouli (in white) tussles with Belgium's Eden Hazard

Belgium v Algeria

17th June, Belo Horizonte


Teams :

Belgium

  • 01 Courtois, 02 Alderweireld, 05 Vertonghen (Booked), 19 Dembélé (Fellaini - 65'), 15 van Buyten, 04 Kompany, 07 De Bruyne, 06 Witsel, 09 Lukaku (Origi - 58'), 22 Chadli (Mertens - 45'), 10 Hazard

  • Substitutes

    03 Vermaelen, 08 Fellaini, 11 Mirallas, 12 Mignolet, 13 Bossut, 14 Mertens, 16 Defour, 17 Origi, 18 Lombaerts, 20 Januzaj, 21 Vanden Borre, 23 Ciman

Algeria

  • 23 M'Bolhi, 22 Mostefa, 03 Ghoulam, 12 Medjani (Ghilas - 84'), 02 Bougherra, 05 Halliche, 10 Feghouli, 19 Taïder, 15 Soudani (Slimani - 66'), 14 Bentaleb (Booked), 21 Mahrez (Lacen - 71')

  • Substitutes

    01 Mohamed, 04 Belkalem, 06 Mesbah, 07 Yebda, 08 Lacen, 09 Ghilas, 11 Brahimi, 13 Slimani, 16 Zemmamouche, 17 Cadamuro, 18 Djabou, 20 Mandi


Match Report

Sometimes I read reports of Saints games and wonder if the writer even watched the game in question and so it was with this game when I and a look at the initial reports to get posted.

Belgium had to work hard for this win in the hot sticky heat of Belo Horizonte, which would have been much more to the Algerians liking, than the Brlgians. But it proved that the manager, Marc Wilmots actually has a plan 'B'. Until the substitutions they had laboured against a hard working Algerian side. The North African side seemed content to harry and pressure a Belgian team that had more than a passing resemblance to Saints at several games at St.Mary's this last season, in that it was all possession and patient build up, without actually threatening the goal much.

This all changed in the 24th minute Faouzi Ghoulam crossed across the face of the Belgian goal and with no real chance of Feghouli meeting it, Vertoughen unceremoniously hauled him down. Penalty.

Feghouli, the Valencia player struck a cool, confident penalty past Cortois in the Belgian goal. 0-1.

At this time the Belgians were way ahead on the possession front with 65% to 35%. They had also had 5 shots on goal to Algeria's 2.

The large numbers of Algerian fans were in good voice and the Belgians looked worried.

So, not looking good for my tip to do well in the 2014 World Cup.

The Belgians stepped things up a bit and managed to win several free kicks near the Algerian goal, but nothing came of these and all it proved was that the ref was really keen on his foam. De Bruyne placed the ball for one free kick and the referee squirted a simply huge amount of foam in front of the ball, which was almost as high as the ball itself. Bonkers.

So, half time came and the Algerians were happy. The Belgians were not. Particularly Lukaku, who had looked lost on his own up at the front.

The slightly odd fact about the starting Belgian team was that not one player actually plus his trade in the domestic league.

Right from the start of the second half Wilmots took off the ineffective Chadli and replaced him with Dries Mertens, who had an immediate impact. Next to go was Lukaku, who I had forgotten was even on the pitch. He was replaced by the 19 year old Origi. The third and final change was Fellaini replacing Dembélé. What a transformation. Suddenly Algeria were under all sorts of pressure.

The pressure told in the 70th minute when a lovely flowing move, involving some great play from Eden Hazard, ended with Fellaini planting a firm header past M'Bolhi. 1-1.

The game was there for the taking and eventually, after another great move, Mertens shot on the run for a great goal. The turn around had been completed in the 80th minute.

They closed the match out without any further dramas, but Fellaini probably should have had another couple of goals.

This was the sign of a team coming into form. Starting slowly, but able to step up when it matters. Watch out for the Belgians, they could well be featuring strongly past the group stages.

channonite

The Stats

Belgium

2

  • Fellaini 70′
  • Mertens 80′

Algeria

1

  • Feghouli 24′ (pen)

Ref: Marco Rodríguez

Att: 56,800


Possession

  • Belgium 67%
  • Algeria 33%

Shots

  • Belgium 17
  • Algeria 3

On target

  • Belgium 8
  • Algeria 1

Corners

  • Belgium 7
  • Algeria 2

Fouls

  • Belgium 20
  • Algeria 18



Tab 2
Alt image
Stacks Image 13884

The Russian goalie Akinfeev fumbles the ball. Probably not one of his better games.

Russia v South Korea

17th June, Cuiaba


Russia

  • 01 Akinfeev, 22 Eshchenko, 23 Kombarov, 20 Faizulin, 14 Berezoutski, 04 Ignashevitch, 19 Samedov, 08 Glushakov (Denisov - 72'), 09 Kokorin, 17 Shatov (Booked) (Dzagoev - 59' ), 18 Zhirkov (Kerzhakov - 71')

  • Substitutes

  • 02 Kozlov, 03 Schennikov, 05 Semenov, 06 Kanunnikov, 07 Denisov, 10 Dzagoev, 11 Kerzhakov, 12 Lodygin, 13 Granat, 15 Mogilevets, 16 Ryzhikov, 21 Ionov

South Korea

  • 01 Jung Sung-ryong, 12 Lee Yong, 03 Yun Suk-young, 16 Ki Sung-yueng (Booked), 20 Hong Jeong-ho (Hwang Seok-ho - 72'), 05 Kim Young-gwon, 17 Lee Chung-yong, 14 Han Kook-young, 10 Park Chu-young (Lee Keun-ho - 56'), 13 Koo Ja-cheol (Booked), 09 Son Heung-min (Booked) (Kim Bo-kyung - 84' )

  • Substitutes

  • 02 Kim Chang-soo, 04 Kwak Tae-hwi, 06 Hwang Seok-ho, 07 Kim Bo-kyung, 08 Ha Dae-sung, 11 Lee Keun-ho, 15 Park Jong-woo, 18 Kim Shin-wook, 19 Ji Dong-won, 21 Kim Seung-gyu, 22 Park Joo-ho, 23 Lee Bum-young


Match Report

I saw someone whose opinion I normally respect, describe this game as 'another decent game'. I am sorry to disagree, but until the 68th minute, when the Russian goalkeeper, Akinfeev managed to palm a tame shot from Lee Keun-ho into the roof of his own net, the game had been a tale of the incompetent versus the incapable. Utterly hopeless.

Neither of these sides deserve to go any further in the competition. I suppose you cannot expect any more of a Russian side, managed by Fabio Capello. He clearly has not learned much since managing England. I am well aware that his stats are possibly the best of all England managers, but that just illustrates to me the danger of statistics. What is the saying? There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.

Having roundly damned both sides, I was slightly encouraged to see the game pick up after what must qualify as the comedy goal of the season and the Russians were forced to be positive and look for an equaliser.

That duly came in the 74th minute from Kerzhakov, the 31-year-old Zenit St Petersburg forward and record goalscorer in Russia, who had only been on the field for about three minutes. South Korea were unable to clear their lines following a shot from Dzagoev and when the ball hit Kerzhakov in the penalty area, he calmly turned and slammed the ball in from no more than six yards out.

The Russians did press, looking for a winner, but they lacked the quality up front.

Overall, a draw was a fair result, but I am not looking forward to watching either side again. Perhaps they may improve, now that they have got the first game out of the way. I certainly hope so.

channonite

The Stats

Russia

1

  • Kerzhakov 74′

South Korea

1

  • Lee Keun-ho 68′

Ref: Néstor Pitana

Att: 37,603


Possession

  • Russia 49%
  • South Korea 51%

Shots

  • Russia 18
  • South Korea 10

On target

  • Russia 5
  • South Korea 5

Corners

  • Russia 4
  • South Korea 4

Fouls

  • Russia 15
  • South Korea 7



Tab 3
Alt image
Stacks Image 14027

The Belgians qualified for the knockout stages with a last gasp victory

Belgium v Russia

22nd June, Rio De Janeiro


Teams :

Belgium

  • 01 Courtois, 02 Alderweireld (Booked), 03 Vermaelen (Vertonghen - 31'), 08 Fellaini, 15 van Buyten, 04 Kompany, 14 Mertens (Mirallas - 75'), 06 Witsel (Booked), 09 Lukaku (Origi - 57'), 07 De Bruyne, 10 Hazard

  • Substitutes

  • 05 Vertonghen, 11 Mirallas, 12 Mignolet, 13 Bossut, 16 Defour, 17 Origi, 18 Lombaerts, 19 Dembélé, 20 Januzaj, 21 Vanden Borre, 22 Chadli, 23 Ciman

Russia

  • 01 Akinfeev, 02 Kozlov (Eshchenko - 62'), 23 Kombarov, 08 Glushakov (Booked), 14 Berezoutski, 04 Ignashevitch, 19 Samedov (Kerzhakov - 90'),20 Faizulin, 09 Kokorin, 17 Shatov (Dzagoev - 83'), 06 Kanunnikov

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Schennikov, 05 Semenov, 07 Denisov, 10 Dzagoev, 11 Kerzhakov, 12 Lodygin, 13 Granat, 15 Mogilevets, 16 Ryzhikov, 18 Zhirkov, 21 Ionov, 22 Eshchenko


Report

If I were to write a conventional report on this match, it would be very short. In truth, nothing much happened until about the 80th minute, when Belgium won a free kick just outside the Russian area. Mirallas, who had only just replaced Mertens, took the kick and hit the post. It seemed to galvanise the Belgians and having sleepwalked their way through the rest of the game, they suddenly laid siege to the Russian goal.

I am getting a bit ahead of myself there. Winding back to the first half, the Russians were all pretty approach work and zero threat in front of goal. The No.9, Korkorin should have scored just before half time when a glorious pass arrived and all he could do was meekly head wide. A dreadful miss.

The Belgians on the other hand were hopeless, playing like eleven random strangers, albeit ten very skilful strangers and Lukaku. He was playing on his own up front, wandering about aimlessly. I am not sure that was the manager, Marc Wilmots intention, but the Chelsea man seemed to have no idea what to do. Eventually he was replaced by the young Origi just before the 60th minute and he immediately started to put pressure on the Russian defence.

The early part of the second half was, if anything worse than the first and it was about this time that I started to look at other things. I liked the TV director showing some of the neutral Brazilian fans fast asleep. Around this time they started booing as well. Quite.

Skipping the rest of the dull bits (as opposed to the very dull bits!), there was a really good passage of play from the Belgians in the 88th minute, particularly from Eden Hazard, who raced down the left and cut back for Origi to sweep the ball into the net. 1-0

Hooray, some excitement!

The remaining two minutes of normal time and the four minutes of time added on passed without drama. Belgium have now had two wins out of two.

The problem with Belgium is that they are a collection of superstars, rather than a team, but don't underestimate the ability of Marc Wilmots to get the best out of them. He certainly knows when to substitute players. Both games have been won by the subs he has put on.

As for Russia, they will be lucky to get out of the group. You can't get far with no strikers.

channonite


The Stats

Belgium

1

  • Origi 88′

Russia

0


Ref: Dr. Felix Brych

Att: 73,819


Possession

  • Belgium 51%
  • Russia 49%

Shots

  • Belgium 12
  • Russia 12

On Target

  • Belgium 2
  • Russia 3

Corners

  • Belgium 5
  • Russia 8

Fouls

  • Belgium 14
  • Russia 9



Tab 4
Alt image
Stacks Image 14033

Algeria won their first World Cup match for 32 years and emotions ran high

South Korea v Algeria

22nd June, Port Alegre


Teams

South Korea

  • 01 Jung Sung-ryong, 12 Lee Yong (Booked), 03 Yun Suk-young, 16 Ki Sung-yueng, 20 Hong Jeong-ho, 05 Kim Young-gwon, 17 Lee Chung-yong (Lee Keun-ho - 64'), 14 Han Kook-young (Booked) (Ji Dong-won - 78'), 10 Park Chu-young (Kim Shin-wook - 57'), 13 Koo Ja-cheol, 09 Son Heung-min

  • Substitutes

  • 02 Kim Chang-soo, 04 Kwak Tae-hwi, 06 Hwang Seok-ho, 07 Kim Bo-kyung, 08 Ha Dae-sung, 11 Lee Keun-ho, 15 Park Jong-woo, 18 Kim Shin-wook, 19 Ji Dong-won, 21 Kim Seung-gyu, 22 Park Joo-ho, 23 Lee Bum-young

Algeria

  • 23 M'Bolhi, 20 Mandi, 06 Mesbah, 14 Bentaleb, 02 Bougherra (Booked) (Belkalem - 89'), 05 Halliche, 10 Feghouli, 12 Medjani, 13 Slimani, 11 Brahimi (Lacen - 77'), 18 Djabou (Ghilas - 73')

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Mohamed, 03 Ghoulam, 04 Belkalem, 07 Yebda, 08 Lacen, 09 Ghilas, 15 Soudani, 16 Zemmamouche, 17 Cadamuro, 19 Taïder, 21 Mahrez, 22 Mostefa


Report

This was a humdinger of a match. South Korea had never lost to an African team, ever. The Algerian win was the first for the country at a World Cup for 32 years and their fourth goal by Bahimi was probably the best team goal in the competition so far. A lot for them to be proud of and fully deserved.

Right from the start the Algerians were playing at a high tempo, lots of short quick passing and the South Koreans were clearly confused. This wasn't the team they had seen plodding through their game with Russia.

The first goal came for Algeria in the 26th minute when Slimani sprinted onto a long ball, running between the two Korean centre halves and shot to the right of wrong footed goalie.

We didn't have long to wait for the second goal. Two minutes to be precise. A corner wasn't dealt with and Halliche headed in. 0-2 and the South Koreans were shell shocked.

The Algerians were not finished yet and the excellent Djabou added a third in the 38th minute.

I will bet the South Koreans were glad to get in the dressing room at half time.

The second half began and it was clear that the Algerians would not have it all their own way in the second half. The South Koreans absolutely ripped into Algeria and within five minutes had pulled a goal back, when Son Heung-min shot between the goalies legs.

You wondered if Algeria would cave in like South Korea in the first half. They are clearly made of stronger stuff, because they had saved the best till now. In the 62 minute the Algerians scored a corker of a team goal. It started deep in their own half and ended with Brahimi burying the ball in the net.

This match was not finished by any means, shortly after some random chanting for Guly (??) the Koreans managed one last hurrah, by scoring through Koo Ja-cheol. 2-4. Phew!

The clock ran out and the Algerians celebrated as if they had actually won the World Cup. Wonderful.

It's games like this that make the competition, although I am not sure that South Korea would agree.

channonite


The Stats

South Korea

2

  • Son Heung-min 50′
  • Koo Ja-cheol 72′

Algeria

4

  • Slimani 26′
  • Halliche 28′
  • Djabou 38′
  • Brahimi 62′

Ref: Wilmar Roldán

Att: 42,732


Possession

  • South Korea 52%
  • Algeria 48%

Shots

  • South Korea 8
  • Algeria 15

On Target

  • South Korea 4
  • Algeria 5

Corners

  • South Korea 7
  • Algeria 5

Fouls

  • South Korea 13
  • Algeria 16



Tab 5
Alt image
Stacks Image 14229

Vertonghen scored the winning goal

South Korea v Belgium

26th June, Sao Paulo


Teams :

South Korea

  • 21 Kim Seung-gyu, 12 Lee Yong, 03 Yun Suk-young, 16 Ki Sung-yueng, 20 Hong Jeong-ho (Booked), 05 Kim Young-gwon, 17 Lee Chung-yong, 14 Han Kook-young (Lee Keun-ho - 45'), 18 Kim Shin-wook (Kim Bo-kyung - 66'), 13 Koo Ja-cheol, 09 Son Heung-min (Ji Dong-won - 73')

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Jung Sung-ryong, 02 Kim Chang-soo, 04 Kwak Tae-hwi, 06 Hwang Seok-ho, 07 Kim Bo-kyung, 08 Ha Dae-sung, 10 Park Chu-young, 11 Lee Keun-ho, 15 Park Jong-woo, 19 Ji Dong-won, 22 Park Joo-ho, 23 Lee Bum-young

Belgium

  • 01 Courtois, 21 Vanden Borre, 05 Vertonghen, 16 Defour (Dismissed), 15 van Buyten, 18 Lombaerts, 08 Fellaini, 19 Dembélé (Booked), 11 Mirallas (Hazard - 88'), 20 Januzaj (Chadli - 60'), 14 Mertens (Origi - 60')

  • Substitutes

  • 02 Alderweireld, 06 Witsel, 07 De Bruyne, 09 Lukaku, 10 Hazard, 12 Mignolet, 13 Bossut, 17 Origi, 22 Chadli, 23 Ciman


Report

Well, it falls to me to do the last match report of the Group stages to go on the IBO website and I am pleased that it involves the Belgians. I don't for a second think that they are going to win the World Cup or anything, but they have really impressed me with the way they have gone about things. They have won all three of their matches while conceding just a single goal. All this while not playing very well at all. England, take note.

Belgium were going through to the last 16 whatever happened, so South Korea needed to attack and although they tried, it was never convincing and Marc Wilmot's side always looked comfortable . Courtois in particular looked calm and assured in goal.

In spite of all the attacking effort by the South Koreans, they should have really been 1-0 down when Mirallas shot and the ball found it's way to Mertens who managed to side foot over the bar from a bare six yards out.

There were a couple of moments that the Belgian defence had to deal with, firstly Ki Sung-yeung hit a piledriver from about 25 yards, which Courtois turned around the post. From the corner the ball bounced around in the penalty area, ending with Defour clearing it off the line.

Even when Belgium seemed to shoot themselves in the foot as Defour managed to get himself sent off with a simply stupid studs up tackle, it didn't seem to throw their cool, organised play. The strange thing was that even then, Wilmots seemed content to leave things as they were and . They didn't need to, with South Korea throwing everything at the Belgians, gaps soon started to appear at the back and Origi who had looked sharp for Belgium after coming on as a substitute, saw his shot parried by the keeper. Vertonghen though was on hand to slot in the winner.

Belgium now move on to play the USA in Salvador on Tuesday at 9pm. South Korea are already on their way home.

channonite


The Stats

South Korea

0

Belgium

1

  • Vertonghen 77′

Ref: Ben Williams

Att: 61,397


Possession

  • South Korea 55%
  • Belgium 45%

Shots

  • South Korea 16
  • Belgium 15

On Target

  • South Korea 4
  • Belgium 5

Corners

  • South Korea 7
  • Belgium 4

Fouls

  • South Korea 16
  • Belgium 12



Tab 6
Alt image
Stacks Image 14224

Slimani scores the equaliser that meant that Algeria go through to the last 16

Algeria v Russia

26th July, Curitiba


Teams :

Algeria

  • 23 M'Bolhi, 20 Mandi, 06 Mesbah (Booked), 14 Bentaleb, 04 Belkalem, 05 Halliche, 10 Feghouli, 12 Medjani, 13 Slimani (Soudani - 91'), 11 Brahimi (Yebda - 71'), 18 Djabou (Ghilas - 77' (Booked))

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Mohamed, 02 Bougherra, 03 Ghoulam, 07 Yebda, 08 Lacen, 09 Ghilas, 15 Soudani, 16 Zemmamouche, 17 Cadamuro, 19 Taïder, 21 Mahrez, 22 Mostefa

Russia

  • 01 Akinfeev, 02 Kozlov (Booked), 23 Kombarov (Booked), 08 Glushakov (Denisov - 45'), 14 Berezoutski, 04 Ignashevitch, 11 Kerzhakov (Kanunnikov - 81'), 20 Faizulin, 09 Kokorin, 17 Shatov (Dzagoev - 67'), 19 Samedov

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Schennikov, 05 Semenov, 06 Kanunnikov, 07 Denisov, 10 Dzagoev, 12 Lodygin, 13 Granat, 15 Mogilevets, 16 Ryzhikov, 18 Zhirkov, 21 Ionov, 22 Eshchenko


Report :

This game was on ITV 4, which meant I was spared the commentary from ITV's Twildsly Dee and Twoundslend Dum.

Right, I think I should say here that from the off I wanted Algeria to win and not just because I love their goal keeper's bald head and impressive beard combo. I turned on just as they were about to kick off and my first thought was that the stadium somehow didn't look Barzillian, it somehow looked more European.

In the initial exchanges one of the Algerian players, Feghouli, ended up with blood poring from a wound on the side of his head after a clash of heads with a team mate. Even after extensive treatment and bandage, the blood was still flowing. While he was off the pitch getting patched up, Russia scored, Kokorin powered in a lovely near post header. All that in the first 6 minutes.

B reckons Capello looks like a character from the Muppets, and I can't help laughing every time I hear Shatov.

Early on Russia played their best football of the tournament so far, and the Algerian fans were making themselves heard. They also seemed to be a bit more restrained when it comes to face paint. There's been an alarming amount of the stuff splashed around at most of the games, but this lot had restricted themselves to just the odd small flag on the cheek.

On 28 minutes Algeria had great chance to pull level, a header from a corner is well tipped over. Play then restarted with a free kick, so even if it had gone in it wouldn't have counted. A couple of minutes later the ref ignored a blatant pull on the shirt and shorts of an Algerian player in the area, it was right in front of him, and looked like a penalty to me. At this point Algeria were coming back into the game, having a fair bit of possession, but seemed to get bogged down when they reached the edge of Russia's area.

Another Algerian header from a corner, just before half time, went straight at the keeper and with Russia 1-0 up as the first half finished they sat second in he group.

Russia started the second half on the front foot and only a great save from M'Bolhi stopped them going 2-0 up. The game settled into something of a pattern with Algeria on the attack and Russia trying to hit them on the break. Just before the hour mark, a free kick awarded for a clumsy foul near the corner flag is headed in at the far post by Slimani. The keeper may have flapped at the cross a bit, but it was a good header, and moved Algeria above Russia in the group. The already noisy Algerian crowd went bonkers, and the cameraman even found some more elaborate face paint (shame).

The game went a bit end to end for a little while with Russia desperate to score again as a draw would not be enough for them. It was scrappy stuff, but the Algerian fans didn't seem to care, they must be the most excitable I've seen, and good for them, it was nice to see people enjoying footer.

Algeria took off Yacine Brahimi, who had been a threat down the left, and with ten minutes to go they started to drop deeper to protect their point, and Russia didn't seem to have the guile to break through; they had a lot of the ball, but did nothing with it. Even when they got a corner nothing came of it.

As time ticked away an Algeria sub was booked for booting a ball that had bounced towards their bench into the crowd. I'm not sure what the fuss was about, they were using the multi ball system, so the game was only held up by the ref who went and flourished the yellow card. The added on four minutes saw more scrappy play, but the scenes of African joy when the ref blew the final whistle made up for that.

Not the best game I've seen in this tournament, but not the worst either.

OneBeat


The Stats

Algeria

1

  • Slimani 60′

Russia

1

  • Kokorin 6′

Ref: Cüneyt Çakir

Att: 39,311


Possession

  • Algeria 43%
  • Russia 57%

Shots

  • Algeria 8
  • Russia 9

On Target

  • Algeria 6
  • Russia 4

Corners

  • Algeria 3
  • Russia 4

Fouls

  • Algeria 15
  • Russia 14