at halftime

At halftime: Algeria putting Germany to the test — FOLLOW LIVE

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Almost cannot believe we’re saying this, but Algeria’s speed gives them the label of better team after 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, that and a bag of peanuts will get you some protein. Germany looks pretty vulnerable against surging Algeria attack. Could this be an upset for the ages?

FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s real-time match center

Goals:

Nothing yet.

Other key moments:

16 — And here it was: Islam Slimani’s header inside of 16 minutes is past Manuel Neuer, and the upset is on… only to see it ruled offsides.

18′ — Faouzi Ghoulam’s curling, outswinging shot bends too acutely to find side-netting. The Desert Foxes brought their A-game.

33′ — A free kick from a very dangerous position is wasted by Sofiane Feghouli

41′ — M’Bohli with brilliant goalkeeping to thwart and Muller and Goetze attack. The latter looks bewildered at how this match is going.

Stats to know 

8 – Germany appearances in the semifinal or better of their 11 World Cup runs.

1 – Algeria knockout round appearances (This one).

Questions for the second half:

Can Algeria find its final ball? The Desert Foxes have done everything but score.

Will Joachim Low make the right adjustments? The German genius needs to find a way to keep his back line safe against Feghouli, Slimani and company.

At halftime: ‘Dos’ disallowed goals haunting Mexico vs. Cameroon — FOLLOW LIVE

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Story of the half: Mexican fans are right to feel aggrieved, as a wrongly-disallowed goal cost them an early lead in what started as rainy and turned into a downpour at the Arena das Dunas in Natal.

Cameroon’s sloppy start on a rain-dampened pitch could’ve doomed them, but Mexico couldn’t find a final ball. When they did, like Giovani dos Santos’ 11th minute shot into the net, they were undone — multiple times — by poor calls.

FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s real-time match center

Goals (and how they happened):

None that counted.

Other key moments:

3′ – Paul Aguilar’s shot/cross was clearly deflected into the outside of the side netting, but inexplicably ruled a goal kick by a linesman operating just behind the Mexican.

11′ – Giovani dos Santos scores a goal on a beautiful cross, but is ruled offsides. That makes two wrong offsides calls and a poor goal kick inside of 12 minutes. Brutal work by the linesman, and FIFA’s history has us wondering what’s on the official’s mind?

22′ – Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s slick move around the left edge of the box ends with a picture-perfect strike to Samuel Eto’o, who… fires wide. Top-notch striker’s gotta finish that chance.

24′ – A scrum off a corner kick that included a Cameroon player being dragged down. It wasn’t a clear penalty… but it could’ve been given.

27′ – Rafa Marquez leaps to head a free kick just out of his reach, taking the chance away from Hector Moreno’s surging, perfect run behind him. Cameroon is fortunate.

30′ –  Dos Santos is ruled offsides again on a play that ends with him scoring, but this time the call seems correct (or at least much closer than the first). That doesn’t change Miguel Herrera’s disposition towards the officials. The colorful coach is extremely upset.

LINEUPS

Mexico: Ochoa, Aguilar, Rodríguez, Moreno, Márquez, Layún, Vázquez, Guardado, Herrera, Dos Santos, Peralta

Cameroon: Itandje; Nkoulou, Djeugoue, Chedjou, Assou Ekotto; Song, Mbia, Enoh, Choupo Moting, Moukandjo, Eto’o

Question(s) for the second half:

  • Can Mexico keep on the gas? – El Tri were the dominant side for the majority of the half, but will their frustrations get the best of them?
  • Is Cameroon better than this? Sloppy and disorganized was not the way the Indomitable Lions qualified for the World Cup, is it? Eto’o and company need to find their form.