One-goal wins in the team’s first two games have the Belgians into the second round, but with a point against South Korea today in São Paulo, the Red Devisl clinch first place in the 2014 World Cup’s Group H, thereby avoiding Germany in the tournament’s second round.
It’s one of two matches that will take place at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, with a 2010 rematch between Russia head coach Fabio Capello and second place Algeria kicking off at the same time in Curiabá. With all four teams still alive, here’s what each needs to happen to make the second round:
- Belgium is into the second round can can secure first place with a win, draw, or an Algeria loss or draw.
- Algeria takes second with a win or draw and can take first with a win and a Belgium loss.
- Russia needs a win over Algeria and a Belgium result against South Korea (or, just to stay on the right side of the tiebreakers with the Koreans).
- South Korea to (a.) beat Belgium by more than the Russians beat Algeria, or, if Algeria draws, (b.) beat Belgium by three. If Algeria wins, South Korea’s done.
Here are the lineups for the last games of the 2014 group stage:
South Korea: S.G. Kim; Y. Lee, Hong, Y.G. Kim, Yun; Han, Ki; C.Y. Lee, Koo, Son; S.W. Kim
Belgium: Courtois; Vanden Boore, Lombaerts, Van Buyten, Vertonghen; Fellaini, Dembélé; Mirallas, Januzaj, Defour, Mertens
Expectation: Despite failing to meet expectations during their first two games, the Red Devils are seen as big favorites in this one. There’s a reason why U.S. fans are already saying, “Give us Belgium.”
One blogger’s prediction: South Korea’s defense looks better than it did against Algeria, but Belgium begins finding its World Cup legs and posts an easy victory. 3-1, Red Devils.
Algeria: Rais; Mandi, Belkalem, Halliche, Mesbah, Bentaleb, Medjani; Feghouli, Brahimi, Djabou; Slimani
Russia: Akinfeev; Kozlov, Berezutski, Ignashevich, Kombarov; Glushakov, Fayzulin; Samedov, Shatov, Kokorin; Kerzhakov
Expectations: Before the tournament, Algeria was seen as the group formats while Russia was expected to go through behind Belgium. Now, perceptions ave flipped. Algeria has captured hearts, while Fabio Capello’s style has made Russia difficult to enjoy.
One blogger’s prediction: Russia’s methods define the match, but they can’t produce a result. The ghosts of 2010 cheer as a 0-0 puts Algeria into the second round.