Point for Paulinho, Belgians victorious
17 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
There were mixed fortunes for our five players in action at the World Cup on Tuesday.
Brazilian star Paulinho started for the tournament hosts against Mexico, the 25-year-old playing 90 minutes in what turned out to be a goalless Group A stalemate.
Our central midfielder went close to breaking the deadlock two minutes before half-time when he forced a good stop from Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with a right-footed shot following Thiago Silva’s ball in.
Ochoa was again called upon after half-time but neither side could find a breakthrough.
Earlier in the day, our three Belgian internationals all started for their nation as they recovered from a goal down to win 2-1 against an Algeria side featuring Nabil Bentaleb.
Jan Vertonghen endured a tough first period when he was adjudged to have fouled Sofiane Feghouli in the box, with the Algerian getting back on his feet to put his side in front from the resulting penalty on 23 minutes.
Nacer Chadli, who started alongside Mousa Dembele in midfield for Belgium, went close to restoring parity with a low angled effort that forced a save from Algeria stopper Rais M’Bolhi as the first period drew to a close.
Nacer was then withdrawn at half-time with Mousa substituted in the 65th minute, the Red Devils going on to secure a 2-1 win thanks to two goals in the final 20 minutes. Jan played the full 90 minutes, as did Nabil for Algeria.
There’s more Spurs interest at the tournament on Wednesday night, as Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s Cameroon take on Croatia in Group A at 11pm UK time.