Belgium stage late fightback to down Algeria
Belgium rallied from a goal in arrears to score a 2-1 victory over gutsy Algeria in their World Cup Group H opener on Tuesday.
Substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens turned the game around with goals in the last 20 minutes after Sofiane Feghouli had given Algeria a 25th minute lead from a penalty.
Belgium, who returned to the World Cup after a 12-year absence, had a better share of the exchanges but found it hard to break down the Algerian defence.
Algeria went ahead in the 25th minute against the run of play from a penalty-kick conversion by Sofiane Feghouli.
The penalty was awarded after left-back Jan Vertonghen brought down Feghouli following a fine cross from Faouzi Ghoulam.
The goal ended Algeria's 28-year-old wait for a World Cup goal. It was their first since their 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland when Djamel Zidane was on target in the 1986 tournament. They had since gone five World Cup games without a goal.
Belgium then turned the match on its head with two goals in the space of 10 minutes.
Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini equalised in the 70th minute through a glancing header off Kevin De Bruyne's fine cross from the left.
The goal spurred the Belgians and substitute Dries Mertens scored the match-winner with a low shot for the winning goal in the 80th minute after Eden Hazard raced down the left wing, and cut back a perfect pass.
Tuesday’s victory was the first in the World Cup for Belgium
after defeating Russia 3-2 in a group match in Shizuoka, Japan, in 2002.