Jan on target, Nabil qualifies at World Cup
26 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
It was a fantastic night for our lads at the World Cup on Thursday, with Jan Vertonghen scoring Belgium’s winning goal against South Korea and Nabil Bentaleb helping Algeria qualify for the last 16 via a 1-1 draw with Russia.
Jan, who captained the Red Devils, seemed determined to get on the scoresheet throughout the night in Group H – trying a couple of long-range shots that flew off target before finally breaking the deadlock 13 minutes from time.
Our defender had initially played substitute Divock Origi through on goal but, after the latter’s shot was kept out by South Korea goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu, Jan gleefully ran on to slot home from the rebound.
Earlier in the game, Belgium had been reduced to 10 men when Steven Defour was sent off. But they soldiered on to finish their Group H campaign top of the pile with nine points out of nine.
Mousa Dembele played the full match as well as Jan, while Nacer Chadli went on as a substitute on the hour mark – the attacking midfielder working himself into a shooting position on 73 minutes, only to see his effort blocked.
The other match in the group saw Nabil’s Algeria come from a goal down to secure a 1-1 draw with Russia – thus consolidating the second place berth they’d held at the start of the night.
A sixth minute header from Aleksandr Kokorin put Russia into a lead which, had they held onto, would have been sufficient to see them leapfrog their opponents to qualify for the round of 16 in second place.
But Islam Slimani’s equaliser on the hour mark swung proceedings back in Algeria’s favour – Nabil playing the full match in central midfield as his nation held on to claim a point and book a last 16 tie with Germany on Monday at 9pm.
With the group stage now complete, the next Spurs interest comes on Saturday at 5pm, as Paulinho’s Brazil take on Chile in the round of 16.