Algeria steal second place, Belgium through without final flourish | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.06.2014
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Algeria steal second place, Belgium through without final flourish

Algeria took their chance to continue in the tournament by drawing with Russia, while the ten men of Belgium saw off a spirited South Korea to finish top of group H with a 100-percent record.

Fabio Capello's Russia needed a win and a South Korean defeat to progress and six minutes in, they looked well placed after Aleksandr Kokorin put a bullet header into the top corner to stun Algeria. Russia played their best football of the tournament in the early stages, but couldn't find a second.

As the game wore on, Algeria, spurred on by fantastic fans, grew into the game and soon enough found it thanks to in-form striker Islam Slimani. A free kick from the left-hand side was misjudged by Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and Slimani took advantage to head in at the back post.

A draw was enough for Algeria to progress and Russia tried to summon a late rally but Rais M'Bolhi kept them out to send the Algerian fans into raptures as they became the second African side to make the knockout rounds, after Nigeria. "At my first World Cup, it's just a sensational feeling. We never gave up. Germany will be tough, but we'll celebrate this first," said Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb afterwards.

Belgium win in busy game

South Korea needed a miracle to get through, but it was Belgium who started more brightly with Dries Mertens having the best chance. The ball fell to the winger in the box but he fired over when it seemed easier to score. Ki forced a good save from Thibaut Courtois as South Korea fought back, and their cause looked to be made easier when Belgium's midfielder Steven Defour was sent off for a jumping challenge.

FIFA Fußball WM 2014 Belgien Südkorea

Belgium's Steven Defour saw red, but South Korea couldn't take advantage

South Korea huffed and puffed in the second half as they sought to take advantage of their one-man advantage, but in the end it was Belgium who scored the decisive goal thirteen minutes from time. Substitute Divock Origi had a shot from distance and Jan Vertonghen pounced on the rebound to send Belgium through top of Group H with three wins.

The win sees Belgium play the USA, while Algeria will face Germany after sneaking into second.

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