Match day 11 of the world cup 2014 so the end of the second round of group matches with Belgium, Russia, Korea Republic, Algeria, USA and Portugal taking to the field.
Belgium took on Russia with a win assuring them a place in the next round. The Belgians made three changes to their starting 11, with Fellaini and Mertens rewarded for their goal scoring exploits that helped Belgium win their first match against Algeria and Vermaelen coming in for Jan Vertoghen.
The Belgians were quick off the blocks but it was Chelsea’s Courtois who was faced to make the first save of the game to deny Russia the lead.
Russia thought they had a penalty when Kanunniko was brought down in the box but the referee waved play on. Mertens was Belgium’s biggest threat in the first half but the Russian keeper was on hand to deny him a goal. The teams went into the break with none of them finding the back of the net.
It wasn’t Lukaku’s day and he was subsituted ten minutes into the second half with 19 year old Origi brought in to add more impetus to the Belgian attack.
Both sides looked clueless though with neither getting a goal as we approached the 80th minute.
Russia were stunned in the dying minutes of the game after Origi finished off a fine run by Eden Hazard to score the winner and assure the Belgians a place in the round of 16.
The second match of the day saw Algeria take on Korea with the African team needing a win to still have a chance of progressing to the next round.
While Korea were unchanged from the team that drew with Russia, Algeria made five changes to the team that lost to Belgium. This proved to be an inspired change for the North Africans as they were the quickest off the block.
Slimani justified his selection by giving Algeria the lead in the 26th minute and they doubled their lead two minutes later with an effort by Halliche finding the back of the net. Halliche was given too much space by the Korean defence and rose highest to power home a thunderous header from an Algerian corner.
The South Korean defense was having a bad day as the Algerians added a third seven minutes before the break with Djabou slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
The Korean emerged from the dressing room with renewed energy for the second half. They pulled one back in the 50th minute as Son controlled the ball in the penalty area before firing it between the Algerian keeper’s legs.
However it was Algeria’s day as they became the first African team to score four goals at the world cup with Brahimi finding the back of the net just after the hour mark.
South Korea scored their second ten minutes later but it came a little bit late as Algeria held on to an historic win and keep their hopes of progressing alive.
The last game of the day had the Portuguese take on the Americans in what was a must win match for Portugal.
Despite speculation about his knee injury making him miss the match Christiano started the game with Portugal making three changes to the team that lost to Germany.
The Portuguese were the first to hit the back of the net as Nani opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Cameron sliced a clearance to the back post, where Nani took a touch and then smashed his shot high into the net with Howard stranded.
Portugal’s injury curse struck again with Postiga getting subbed off for Eder with an apparent hamstring strain.
Howard made a few saves in the first half to ensure that the Americans were only one goal behind going into the break.
Almeida came off at half-time with another injury, with Veloso moving to left-back and William Carvalho promoted to defensive midfield.
The start of the second half saw both teams fail to take their chances before the Americans got a deserved equaliser in the 63rd minute when a corner was cleared to Jones and the Schalke midfielder smashed his shot inside the far post.
USA took the lead with nine minutes remaining when Zusi collected a loose ball in box and crossed for Dempsey to score with his stomach but they were denied a win in extra time as Cristiano Ronalo got free on the right and picked out Varela, who powered a header past Tim Howard.
This sets up an exciting end to Group G with Germany and USA both on 4 points and Portugal and Ghana tied with 1 point.