Hello, and welcome back for another day of football, here, I will be blogging live about the game against Belgium and Algeria. Make sure to keep pinned to this blog post as it will continuously update in the background.
Updating constant while reading the live feed from BBC Sport is handy as I can continually update this blog post with ease, saves a lot of time :-).
We have kick-off!!! There should be some good signs for this match, so as usual, the atmosphere around the stadium where Belgium and Algeria are playing now will be intense and really high.
Belgium 2-1 Algeria
Danny Mills (former England Defender): “When Belgium lose the ball they are quite rigid but when they attack the front four and five players move all over the field.”
Preston and Former England and Bolton striker Kevin Davies tweeted a picture of his back garden, in which he’s transformed into thee Copacabana Beach in relation to this year’s 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and it’s available above to view.
Nearly 15-20 minutes in and everyone around the stadium is doing the first Mexican wave, as long as it takes for Romelu Lukaku to get his boots dirty for the first time.
Danny Mills: “Belgium are just starting to get into the game. They are beginning to probe and Algeria are getting deeper and deeper. Belgium have some special players and if they enjoy possession they can make things happen.”
Tola: Almost 20 minutes in and it’s already a better game than the whole Iran vs Nigeria match.
James Daniel: Did everyone watch the same games as I did, or am I the only one Tottenham fan not so impressed with Bentaleb?
Murali: Belgium should have started Adnan Januzaj, could have been a real game changer.
PENALTY TO ALGERIA!!!
0-1 to Algeria (Sofiane Feghouli – 24′ on Penalty)!!!
Danny Mills: “Vincent Kompany is not happy with Jan Vertonghen. He was caught out of position, tugged Sofiane Feghouli back and the ref had no hesitation. A very cool penalty, awful defending from Belgium. Now we have a game on our hands. Belgium are going to have to attack now.”
James: Utter stupidity from Jan Vertonghen. Stone wall penalty. This would be a huge shock!
Josh: Belgium look a pale imitation of what literally everyone (including me) built them up to be ahead of the tournament.
Aman: Seems like Belgium have bought into their own hype.
Jonathan Jurejko: “Eden Hazard has his feet nibbled at again by some scurrying Algerian defenders, winning a free-kick in the left channel about 35 yards out. Referee Marco Rodriguez doesn’t quite have the hang of the vanishing spray yet – putting a mound of the stuff in front of free-kick taker Kevin De Bruyne. Bet the Mexican is the kind of guy who gets shaving foam all over the mirror….
Kevin De Bruyne‘s free-kick isn’t affected by the excess shaving foam, but he might want to use it as an excuse as it flies out of play for a goal-kick. Then the ex-Chelsea player wins a corner which is headed clear by the Algerians.
Still the Belgians press as Axel Witsel sends a long-range pot-shot hurtling across the turf towards the bottom corner. Algeria keeper Rais Mbolhi scampers across his goal to push wide.”
Danny Mills: “From that range it was going to have to be goal of the tournament by Axel Witsel. Maybe a bit of frustration creeping in from the Belgians. One of the criticisms of them during qualifying was they do struggle at times to break down teams.”
Jonathan Jurejko: “Meanwhile, referee Marco Rodriguez’s over-exuberance with the vanishing spray (see 30 mins) is still evident. The mound still hasn’t disappeared from the pitch. It is like that last bit of snow on the street that is refusing to be melted. The official is slowly getting to grips with the vanishing spray as he has another blast ahead of a Belgium free-kick. You need to give it a good shake, Marco. Anyway, Thomas Vermaelen forgets all about that as he slams the set-piece high over the Algeria crossbar.”
Twitter: #bbcworldcup debate
Willie: No one has executed the foam with both style and authority more than the Japanese referee. He was majestic.
Danny Mills: “I have been disappointed with the Belgians. All the talk was they should win the group but they have been far too cautious, shown no ambition, no desire and no zest. I would be tempted to bring both Kevin Mirallas and Adnan Januzaj on at half-time. Belgium have been boring.”
Jonathan Jurejko: “Eden Hazard is warming up nicely, finding more room down the left seconds later. His teasing cross scuttles down the corridor of uncertainty between the Algerian goalkeeper and defence. Romelu Lukaku was inches away from toe-ending that one in. One minute of added time.”
HALF TIME, WILL BE BACK SHORTLY…
DURING HALF TIME…
Liz: To everyone’s extreme surprise, Belgium look like they met just this afternoon. Come on Vinny, get hold of everyone and fix it.
Simon: Romelu Lukaku doing his usual ‘wandering around aimlessly’ routine. He plays for about 10 minutes each match, looks clueless for the rest.
Danny Mills: “I have just seen Belgium manager Marc Wilmots go to one of his assistants with a clipboard. He has gone to talk to two players, one is Marouane Fellaini and the other I think is Kevin Mirallas. Maybe being lined up to be brought on? Belgium have been poor and unless something changes dramatically, they aren’t going to get back in this.”
Jonathan Jurejko: One change will certainly be made by Marc Wilmost at the break – his shirt. The Belgium boss was told by the match officials during the first half to throw on a jacket because his crisp white number clashed with the Algeria players’ shirts. Hope he packed a spare, otherwise he might have to dig around in the Estadio Mineirao lost property box.
“So what would you do if you were Marc Wilmots? No, not his shirt conundrum – what would you do with his team? There is plenty of talent on that Belgium bench, including Adnan Januzaj, Kevin Mirallas and Dries Martens. Or Marouane Fellaini if you prefer. Who would you throw on?”
Matt: This is making England’s horrendous draw with Algeria in Cape Town look highly credible.
Luke: The Belgium team are arguing with each other over everything. No team spirit or weak under pressure?
Neal: Your half-time entertainment – referee Marco Rodriguez will use his vanishing spray to construct a snowman on the pitch.
2ND HALF…KICK OFF!!! THINGS ARE REALLY HOTTING UP NOW!!!
Jonathan Jurejko: “Belgium have won just once in the 21 games they’ve gone behind in at the World Cup. But Red Devils keeper Thibaut Courtois has never tasted defeat in 17 international matches. Something has to give in the second half.”
Twitter debate: #bbcworldcup
J White: Get Dries Mertens and Kevin Mirallas on. Nacer Chadli and Kevin De Bruyne are awful.
Colm: Will the Belgium manager be brave (or desperate) enough to bring on Adnan Januzaj? He could be needed.
Jonathan Jorejko: “Seems our J White has influence in the Belgium dressing room – Marc Wilmots has listened and hauled off Tottenham midfielder Nacer Chadli at the break, with Napoli winger Dries Mertens taking his spot. Game on in Belo Horizonte.”
Danny Mills: “I think there has been a tweak in Belgium’s formation. It is almost a 4-4-2 now and it looks as though they are going to try to get more players up the pitch. They were abject in their attacking prowess and they had to tweak things.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “Belgium substitute Dries Mertens gets his first touch since joining the action, caressing the ball towards team-mate Eden Hazard. But the Algerian defence snuffs out the danger. Corner for Belgium as they aim to peg back these pesky Algerians. Desert Foxes keeper Rais Mbolhi wafts his arms into thin air, completely missing Dries Mertens’s teasing corner, but is fortunate to see the ball cannon off the forehead of Axel Witsel and fly over his crossbar.”
Danny Mills: “It was a great delivery from Dries Mertens. The goalkeeper tried to push it and Axel Witsel didn’t have time to react. It hit him and looped over the bar. The Belgians seem to have more of a purpose.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “Some more Honduran-style treatment from the Algerians as they try to rough up Eden Hazard near the touchline. Daniel van Buyten boots the free-kick into the mixer, but any idea that they might catch Rais Mboulhi flapping again is quickly dismissed. The Algeria keeper punches clear and the chance disappears down the plughole.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “Belgium substitute Dries Mertens licks his lips as he stands over another attacking free-kick. The Napoli man, encouraged by Rais Mboulhi’s earlier flap, fancies this one but the Algerian goalkeeper again stands firm to palm away from his six-yard box. We haven’t seen much attacking threat from Algeria since the break – but it is the North Africans who come closest to grabbing the second goal of the game. Defender Carl Medjani, who I’m sure had a brief spell at Liverpool years ago, heads inches past the far post. Close. Another change for Belgium boss Marc Wilmots as he looks to swing this game in his team’s favour. Romelu Lukaku jogs off to see his place as the focal point of the Belgium attack taken by 19-year-old Lille striker Divock Origi. That was not the rampaging Lukaku that Everton fans saw last season.”
Danny Mills: “I am surprised they are taking off Lukaku. He hasn’t been brilliant but they are taking off an experienced player for a relative novice in Divock Origi.”
Twitter debate: #bbcworldcup
Rory: Belgium look so slow. They have arguably the best midfield five at the World Cup. They need to play two-touch and show their class!
Luke Smith: If you’re surprised they’re losing then by definition Belgium are not dark horses. Second most bet on team in England.
Chris: I’m enjoying the underdogs this tournament. Doubt Belgium won’t turn it around after last night though. 2-1 Belgium is my call.
Jonathan Jorejko: “One miserable-looking Belgium fans suddenly cheers up when he sees his mugshot plastered over the big screen inside the Estadio Mineirao. I’d still be looking like my goldfish had just died if my team were losing. No sign of a Belgium leveller. Here’s a haircut that looks familiar. The out-of-control afro of Marouane Fellaini is bobbing up and down on the touchline. The Manchester United midfielder is about to become Belgium’s third – and final – substitute. Penny for Adnan Januzaj’s thoughts…After a slight wait until the ball goes out, Fellaini is finally introduced in place of Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele. Then, Algeria respond by bringing on Islam Slimani – their top scorer during qualifying. Here’s the chance that Romelu Lukaku was waiting for. Unfortunately he can only watch from the bench as it falls to replacement Divock Origi. The Lille man bursts out of the blocks like Usain Bolt to outpace the creaking Algeria defence, only to shoot at the legs of goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi. Got to take those chances.”
Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup
Sam: Belgium need to move the ball quicker, but I cannot see how introducing Marouane Fellaini will accomplish that!
Dan: If he wants to use this World Cup as a way to impress Jose Mourinho next season, Romelu Lukaku hasn’t got off to the best start.
Jonathan: Belgium – aka the ‘hipsters’ choice’. Hipsters are also wearing bum-bags, so that should show you what they know.
Belgium have just scored against Algeria, bringing the score into an equaliser (Marouane Fellaini – 70′)
Jonathan Jorejko: “What an impact! Belgium are level as big substitute Marouane Fellaini rises above the Algeria defence to knock in Kevin De Bruyne’s pinpoint cross from the left. That is the Fellaini we remember from Everton, not the poor man’s equivalent we saw at Manchester United last season.”
Danny Mills: “Fellaini gives you that different option. No one was around Kevin de Bruyne, he had time to whip it in and Fellaini flicks the ball in, he doesn’t need to do an awful lot with the header. The first decent cross into the box and that is the different dimension Fellaini adds.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “Belgium are in the ascendancy now and they look to take advantage of the momentum with a right-wing corner. Marouane Fellaini is lurking in the box again but the ball finds its way to Daniel van Buyten, who loops a header over. The statistics show that Belgium have dominated possession and had more shots (13 to Algeria’s three) than their opponents. But only one stat counts – and that’s the one at the top of this page. But Belgium almost make that 2-1 as Jan Vertonghen sweeps in a cross from the left byeline which the Desert Foxes hack clear.”
Danny Mills: “A lot more purpose now about the Belgian play. They are trying to make things happen. They got caught by surprise in the first half by Algeria’s organisation and fitness but Belgium would still be disappointed with a draw.”
Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup
Callum: You see, if you play Marouane Fellaini as a target man, he produces results.
Josh: Fellaini doing his thing. That he hasn’t done for ages. And which I’d almost started thinking was a figment of my imagination.
Brad: In scoring Fellaini just did more for Belgium than he did for Manchester United in all of last season.
Jonathan Jorejko: “Not sure who this dude is supporting today. Brazil are playing in Fortaleza in about an hour and a half – that’s about 1,400 miles away mate. At least he’s enjoying Belgium’s fightback.”
GOAL!!! Another goal scorer from Belgium (Dries Martens – 80′)
Jonathan Jorejko: “Now that fightback is complete. Dries Martens almost breaks the back of the Algeria net with a thunderous second for the Belgians. The Napoli man scampers clear to latch on to Eden Hazard’s incisive pass which scythed through the opposition defence like a hot poker stick through a block of ice. Then Martens keeps his cool to spark wild celebrations near the corner flag.”
Danny Mills: “The first time Algeria have been caught on the counter attack. Really dramatic finish and suddenly we saw what Belgium can do. When teams attack them and they can get in behind, brilliant. They have got out of jail here.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “The Belgians are sensing blood now. A dangerous cross is whipped in from the right, finding the sizable head of Marouane Fellaini. The Manchester United man powers a header at the Algeria goal, but keeper Rais Mbolhi shows the reactions of a cat to tip over the crossbar.”
Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup
Matthew: People criticising Belgium are being made to eat their words. Matches constantly being turned around at this World Cup.
John: I feel so sorry for Algeria. Courageously played, but the carrot of getting a winner led to the turnover. Redemption for Marouane Fellaini!
Tamim: Marc Wilmots with a touch of substitutional genius, Divock Origi to score and complete the hat-trick.
Danny Mills: “Algeria are completely deflated. They have worked their socks off, they are trying to attack but there is no organisation now. Dries Mertens has made all the difference with his play. He has ran at people and put in some really good crosses.”
Jonathan Jorejko: “Those noisy Algerian fans inside the Estadio Mineirao have suddenly lost their voices, but they can take great heart from their team’s performance. However, the Desert Foxes almost concede a third. They are lucky to escape as Marouane Fellaini loses his footing just as he looks set to stab in from close range. Belgium win a free-kick just inside their own half – but they are in no hurry to take it. Vincent Kompany pumps forward the set-piece as the clocks ticks down on Algeria’s hopes of causing an upset.”
Aston Villa’s Injured Belgium Striker Christian Benteke on Twitter: Drieeeeessssss!!!!
Jonathan Jorejko: “Three minutes of stoppage time for Algeria to hit back. Can’t see that happening.”
Check back in a few hours for the next blog post to come :-).
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