The fixtures for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, which is set...
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Algeria fail to hold on against Belgium in Group H opener
Algeria proved to be a tough team to beat, having faced one of the most developed European teams in Belgium in their Group H opener – in a very competitive match – on Tuesday.
The Desert Foxes scored their first goal through a penalty kick in the 25th minute through Sofiane Feghouli, and managed to defend their 1-0 lead until the 70th minute when substitute Marouane Fellaini equalized for Belgium, before Dries Mertens scored the winner 10 minutes later.
The first 10 minutes of the match was full of pressure from Vahid Halilhodzic‘s side, while Belgium were playing very carefully and didn’t threaten in the beginning.
Algeria were awarded a penalty after Feghouli was brought down inside the box by Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, and the Valencia man converted brilliantly from the spot into Courtois’ net.
Belgium scored their first goal of the game 20 minutes from time as Fellaini powered home a great header which was impossible for goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi to save.
In the 80th minute, Belgium attacked through a fast counter attack which Napoli midfielder Mertens – another second-half substitute – finished off from the right side of the box to seal the three points for the Red Devils.
The win gifts Belgium the first place in Group H, which could change by the end of the matchday depending on the result of the Russia-Korea Republic clash.
The upcoming matches should prove to be much easier for Algeria, and their performance against group favourites Belgium gives hope to Algerian fans that they can still qualify to the next round.