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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018

Breakfast at Bebeto’s: All you need to know from the 11th night of World Cup action

Portugal came back from the brink, Belgium are charming no-one and Algeria spanked in four against hapless Korea.

On Day 11

Brazil Soccer WCup US Portugal United States' Jermaine Jones (13) celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Source: Martin Mejia

Portugal were on the brink of elimination from the World Cup as they trailed the USA with 30 seconds of injury time to go. Cristiano Ronaldo then produced an inch-perfect cross to tee up Guillermo Varela for a header that salvaged a 2-2 draw. The match featured some amazing trickery from Ronaldo (below), two wonder saves from Tim Howard, a belter from Jermaine Jones and so much more.

Brazil Soccer WCup Belgium Russia Eden Hazard (10) and his Belgian teammates applaud spectators at the Maracana Stadium. Source: Bernat Armangue

Belgium came into this tournament as dark horses but are currently playing with blinkers on. For the second game running, Marc Wilmots’ side struggled to break down their opponents before Divock Origi finished off Eden Hazard’s good work to see off Russia.

Brazil Soccer WCup South Korea Algeria South Korea's Kim Shin-wook kneels down on the pitch as Algerian players celebrate their victory. Source: Martin Meissner

South Korea kicked off their World Cup with a 1-1 that was thanks in no small part to a Russian goalkeeping error. Last night, they paid it forward (or should that be backward?) to Algeria. Woeful Korean defending led to all three of Algeria’s first half goals before they fought back in the second half. Algeria trumped a six-goal thriller 4-2.


USA - Written off as a team seeking only a draw to dent Portugal’s hopes, the United States bounced back from 1-0 down to stun their illustrious opponents.

Brazil Soccer WCup US Portugal Clint Dempsey pounces to make it 2-1 to the USA. Source: Martin Mejia

Following Germany’s draw with Ghana, Jürgen Klinsmann’s team second in their group and up against the coach’s fellow countrymen in their final game. A draw would mean no way back for Portugal.


Russia - Fabio Capello attempted to project an air of calm following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium. Russia sit on one point after two games and face Algeria next. A win may not even be good enough to make the Last 16 but Capello’s men may be stretched to do so against the buoyant ‘Desert Foxes’.

Brazil Soccer WCup Belgium Russia Russia's Vasily Berezutsky gestures at his teammates during his team's Group H loss. Source: Christophe Ena

Joga Bonito

Wonder why Cristiano Ronaldo has dicky knees?

Source: @ActualFutbol

What we’ve got to look forward to today

  • It is effectively a dead rubber but Spain will be eager to show the world their champion spirit at 5pm. They take on Australia in Curitiba.
  • The 5pm game that most eyes will gaze upon is Holland versus Chile as top spot is up for grabs.
  • Brazil entertain Cameroon at 9pm and Fred will be looking to cram Alan Shearer’s disparaging comments down his BBC microphone.
  • Second spot seems the most likely prize as Mexico and Croatia duke it out in the other 9pm match.

Official World Cup mascot Fuleco has been a very naughty boy

Casillas gets Spanish axe as Fabregas booted out of training session

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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