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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021
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Plan B to the rescue for sub-par Belgium

Super subs Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens scored two late goals.

Marouane Fellaini celebrates his equalising goal as Belgium came from behind today.
Marouane Fellaini celebrates his equalising goal as Belgium came from behind today.
Image: Hassan Ammar/AP/Press Association Images

DARK HORSES BELGIUM staged a late fightback to beat Algeria 2-1 and deny the Africans a first World Cup win in 32 years on Tuesday.

Second-half goals from substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens secured an opening Group H victory for the Red Devils after Algeria had taken a 25th-minute lead via a Sofiane Feghouli penalty.

Manchester United midfielder Fellaini headed Belgium level on 70 minutes before Mertens struck 10 minutes later, latching onto a sublime pass from Eden Hazard and blasting home past Algerian goalkeeper Rais M’bolhi.

Algeria, who have not won a World Cup match since beating Chile at the 1982 finals in Spain, will now look to break their winless streak against South Korea or Russia, who play later on Tuesday.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, the last Belgian player to score a goal at the World Cup in the 2002 finals, is hoping to make a big impact in Brazil.

His Belgian side is seen as one of the most promising squads in international football, with a generation of talented players including Chelsea star Hazard, Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany and a slew of other foreign-based players.

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- © AFP, 2014

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