Goals from Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens saw Belgium come from behind to beat Algeria in their World Cup Group H opener in Belo Horizonte.

The north African side took a shock lead when Sofiane Feghouli scored from the spot after being fouled by Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.

Manchester United's Fellaini, a second-half substitute, equalised with a looping header shortly after coming on.

And Mertens scored the winner when he finished off a swift counter-attack.

The 80th-minute strike prompted an eruption of relief from the Belgium bench, not least from coach Marc Wilmots, who had spent most of the match looking understandably pensive.

Match facts

  • Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku failed to register a single touch in the opposition area
  • Algeria ended a run of 506 minutes without a goal at the World Cup finals
  • Thibaut Courtois is yet to lose a match he has played for Belgium (W11 D7) and has kept 10 clean sheets in 18 games

His side had 65% possession but for most of the game found it difficult to penetrate an Algeria defence marshalled by former Rangers centre-half Madjid Bougherra.

The European side, the seeded team in the group and widely tipped to do well in Brazil after an impressive qualifying campaign, fielded an imposing starting XI, with the Chelsea pair of Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku in attack, while Spurs' Mousa Dembele and former Chelsea man Kevin de Bruyne sat in midfield.

Pre-tournament fifth favourites with some bookmakers, they looked anything but for 69 minutes.

They were rocked in the 24th minute when forward Feghouli was hauled down by Vertonghen in the area as he aimed to convert Faouzi Ghoulam's cross.

The Valencia player recovered to sidefoot a tame penalty past another Blues player Thibaut Courtois, who dived the wrong way. That was Algeria's first World Cup goal since 1986 - 506 minutes of football.

Belgium's best early chances were from long distance and fell to Zenit St Petersburg's Axel Witsel, who had two efforts saved before failing to convert a header.

Match analysis

"It was a massive win for Belgium. My only concern is, centre-forward wise, do they have one to fire them to the semi-final? I'm not sure they do."

The pattern changed with the Belgium substitutions. First to test the goal was 19-year-old Lille striker Divock Origi, who forced a brilliant low save from Rais Mbolhi.

Gaps began to grow in a tiring Algeria defence, and a fresh Fellaini took advantage of that when he outmuscled marker Carl Medjani and flicked his effort beyond the reach of Mbolhi.

The winner came from a move that showed off Belgium's attack at its best.

De Bruyne tackled Feghouli in his own half and when the ball found its way to Hazard on the left, the PFA young player of the year sped down the wing and fed Mertens, who slammed his shot high into the net.

Belgium almost grabbed a third through Fellaini, but Mbolhi produced another good save from point-blank range.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots:

"It was a tough match but we were patient throughout and at the end we were rewarded.

"We stayed calm after doing a small mistake in the first half. We got a new momentum. We saw that Algeria were getting more and more tired. At half-time people were a bit down, but I said 'don't worry, we will score and we will change totally the match'."

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic:

"It's a major disappointment. I would have liked to have a couple of tougher and more resilient players to resist their attacks but I don't have much of a choice.

"We missed a great opportunity here. But in the second half it was a bit tough. We left too much space to the Belgian team and the two goals scored against us were to be expected."

Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen is shown a yellow card after fouling Sofiane Feghouli

Tottenham defender Vertonghen protested against the card and penalty decision in Estadio Mineirao

Sofia Feghouli sent keeper Thibaut Courtois the wrong way

Feghouli ended Algeria's barren World Cup run in the 24th minute

Belgium supporters watch on a big screen in the Antwerp Sportpaleis in Antwerp

Belgium supporters packed an arena in Antwerp to watch the match unfold on a big screem

Belgium's midfielder Marouane Fellaini (front left) celebrates after scoring his team"s first goal

Fellaini scored Belgium's first goal at a World Cup since they were last in the competition in 2002

Dries Mertens celebrates scoring Belgium's winner

Match-winner Mertens scored 11 goals for Napoli last season

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Belgium

  • 01 Courtois
  • 02 Alderweireld
  • 05 Vertonghen Booked
  • 19 Dembélé (Fellaini - 65' )
  • 15 van Buyten
  • 04 Kompany
  • 07 De Bruyne
  • 06 Witsel
  • 09 Lukaku (Origi - 58' )
  • 22 Chadli (Mertens - 45' )
  • 10 Hazard

Substitutes

  • 03 Vermaelen
  • 08 Fellaini
  • 11 Mirallas
  • 12 Mignolet
  • 13 Bossut
  • 14 Mertens
  • 16 Defour
  • 17 Origi
  • 18 Lombaerts
  • 20 Januzaj
  • 21 Vanden Borre
  • 23 Ciman

Algeria

  • 23 M'Bolhi
  • 22 Mostefa
  • 03 Ghoulam
  • 12 Medjani (Ghilas - 84' )
  • 02 Bougherra
  • 05 Halliche
  • 10 Feghouli
  • 19 Taïder
  • 15 Soudani (Slimani - 66' )
  • 14 Bentaleb Booked
  • 21 Mahrez (Lacen - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Mohamed
  • 04 Belkalem
  • 06 Mesbah
  • 07 Yebda
  • 08 Lacen
  • 09 Ghilas
  • 11 Brahimi
  • 13 Slimani
  • 16 Zemmamouche
  • 17 Cadamuro
  • 18 Djabou
  • 20 Mandi
Ref: Marco Rodríguez
Att: 56,800
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Belgium 2, Algeria 1.

90:00 +3:30 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Belgium 2, Algeria 1.

90:00 +2:09

Foul by Axel Witsel (Belgium).

90:00 +2:09

Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:37

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Faouzi Ghoulam.

90:00 +0:36

Axel Witsel (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:36

Foul by Nabil Ghilas (Algeria).

90:00 +0:18

Foul by Eden Hazard (Belgium).

90:00 +0:18

Mehdi Mostefa (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:39

Axel Witsel (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:39

Foul by Saphir Taïder (Algeria).

88:57

Foul by Divock Origi (Belgium).

88:57

Madjid Bougherra (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:29

Offside, Belgium. Vincent Kompany tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.

85:25

Foul by Dries Mertens (Belgium).

85:25

Saphir Taïder (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:48

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

84:48

Foul by Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria).

83:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Algeria. Nabil Ghilas replaces Carl Medjani.

83:04

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Rais M'Bolhi.

83:02

Attempt saved. Marouane Fellaini (Belgium) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Toby Alderweireld with a cross.

81:50

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

81:50

Foul by Mehdi Mostefa (Algeria).

79:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Belgium 2, Algeria 1. Dries Mertens (Belgium) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard following a fast break.

78:04

Foul by Dries Mertens (Belgium).

78:04

Mehdi Lacen (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:56

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

75:16

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Belgium).

75:16

Carl Medjani (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:38

Offside, Belgium. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.

72:54

Attempt missed. Daniel van Buyten (Belgium) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Dries Mertens with a cross following a corner.

72:32

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Rafik Halliche.

71:35

Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:35

Foul by Islam Slimani (Algeria).

70:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Algeria. Mehdi Lacen replaces Riyad Mahrez.

69:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Belgium 1, Algeria 1. Marouane Fellaini (Belgium) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross.

66:25

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Rafik Halliche.

65:52

Attempt saved. Divock Origi (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jan Vertonghen with a headed pass.

65:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Algeria. Islam Slimani replaces Soudani.

65:02

Attempt missed. Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

64:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Belgium. Marouane Fellaini replaces Mousa Dembélé.

61:21

Foul by Jan Vertonghen (Belgium).

61:21

Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:59

Dries Mertens (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:59

Foul by Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria).

60:30

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Belgium).

60:30

Saphir Taïder (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:49

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

58:31

Hand ball by Mousa Dembélé (Belgium).

57:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Belgium. Divock Origi replaces Romelu Lukaku.

56:34

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:34

Foul by Mehdi Mostefa (Algeria).

56:05

Attempt missed. Carl Medjani (Algeria) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Saphir Taïder with a cross following a corner.

55:34

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Daniel van Buyten.

54:32

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium).

54:32

Madjid Bougherra (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:53

Dries Mertens (Belgium) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:53

Foul by Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria).

52:38

Foul by Axel Witsel (Belgium).

52:38

Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:05

Axel Witsel (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:05

Foul by Saphir Taïder (Algeria).

51:31

Offside, Belgium. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Toby Alderweireld is caught offside.

50:39

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick on the left wing.

50:39

Foul by Mehdi Mostefa (Algeria).

49:46

Axel Witsel (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:46

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Algeria).

49:06

Attempt missed. Axel Witsel (Belgium) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high following a corner.

48:33

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Madjid Bougherra.

46:12

Foul by Jan Vertonghen (Belgium).

46:12

Soudani (Algeria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Belgium. Dries Mertens replaces Nacer Chadli.

45:00

Second Half begins Belgium 0, Algeria 1.

45:00 +1:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Belgium 0, Algeria 1.

43:22

Attempt saved. Nacer Chadli (Belgium) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

42:04

Foul by Toby Alderweireld (Belgium).

42:04

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) wins a free kick on the left wing.

41:39

Attempt missed. Nacer Chadli (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Axel Witsel.

39:39

Toby Alderweireld (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:39

Foul by Soudani (Algeria).

38:38

Attempt missed. Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne from a direct free kick.

37:35

Toby Alderweireld (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:35

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Algeria).

35:04

Hand ball by Mousa Dembélé (Belgium).

34:41

Attempt saved. Nacer Chadli (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

33:58

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Rais M'Bolhi.

33:56

Attempt saved. Axel Witsel (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

33:00 Booking

Booking Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

32:55

Mousa Dembélé (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:55

Foul by Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria).

32:34

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Belgium).

32:34

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:51

Corner, Belgium. Conceded by Faouzi Ghoulam.

30:34

Mousa Dembélé (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:34

Foul by Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria).

29:59

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

29:05

Eden Hazard (Belgium) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:05

Foul by Saphir Taïder (Algeria).

26:48

Attempt missed. Mousa Dembélé (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Vincent Kompany.

24:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Belgium 0, Algeria 1. Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

23:03 Booking

Booking Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

22:57

Penalty conceded by Jan Vertonghen (Belgium) after a foul in the penalty area.

22:57

Penalty Algeria. Sofiane Feghouli draws a foul in the penalty area.

22:27

Foul by Nacer Chadli (Belgium).

22:27

Saphir Taïder (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:10

Attempt saved. Axel Witsel (Belgium) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

18:16

Foul by Nacer Chadli (Belgium).

18:16

Mehdi Mostefa (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:15

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Rais M'Bolhi.

16:03

Attempt blocked. Daniel van Buyten (Belgium) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Axel Witsel.

14:52

Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Belgium).

14:52

Madjid Bougherra (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:12

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Algeria).

6:12

Daniel van Buyten (Belgium) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:12

Hand ball by Soudani (Algeria).

1:12

Soudani (Algeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:12

Foul by Daniel van Buyten (Belgium).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers