Mirallas sits out Belgium win

, 17 June, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Belgium recovered from a stodgy start in their first 2014 World Cup match in Belo Horizonte, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to goals by Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens.

Romelu Lukaku took his expected place up front against Algeria who made a confident start before the much-fancied Belgians took control of possession.

It was Algeria who opened the scoring, though, when Jan Vertonghen conceded a sloppy penalty and Feghouli calmly buried the spot kick past Thibault Courtoius.

Lukaku was largely peripheral in the first half, Belgium's best chances coming from distance where Axel Witsel twice stung the Rais M'Bohli palms with accurate shots.

Nacer Chadli found himself in a great position just before half-time but couldn't dig out more than a weak shot that failed to trouble the 'keeper as Belgium went into the break a goal down after a disappointing first 45 minutes.

Lukaku's afternoon came to an early end after just 56 minutes when he was withdrawn in favour of 19 year-old Divock Origi.

The young striker was followed onto the field by ex-Everton midfielder Fellaini who replaced Moussa Dembele and he dragged Belgium level with a header that he steered in off the bar with 20 minutes to go.

Belgium then turned the match on its head with 10 minutes left when they countered quickly and Mertens lashed the ball home.

And Fellaini had a chance to double the advantage four minutes later but his powerful header was pushed over the bar by M'Bohli.

Marc Wilmots had found the key to transforming his side's fortunes but Kevin Mirallas was not needed, the Everton man sitting out the game as an unused substitute.


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