And so, this is it. The final pair of group matches at Brazil 2014.
Belgium head the group and are already in the second round. They need a point to guarantee that they will finish top but in reality, they are likely to whatever happens, bar some very strange results. Their opponents, South Korea, have been completely unremarkable in the tournament but could still qualify with a win tonight.
More probable, though, is that Germany’s opponents in the second round will be either Algeria or Fabio Capello’s Russia. Algeria are currently in second position by virtue of their 4-2 win against Korea in their second match and a draw will guarantee they make the knockout stage for the first time in their history. Russia, like Korea, must win to advance. If they both do, Korea must recover two goals to sneak ahead of the European side.
Let’s see what happens, shall we?
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I’m hardly laughing at all.
Here, that Fabio Capello isn’t much good at the World Cup, is he?
My name is Jan Vanderknoopbreeden.
In the other game, Belgium beat South Korea 1-0 despite playing the entire second half with ten men. It’s not been a great tournament for the Asian sides, let’s be honest.
Belgium’s away kit is hot hot hot. Easily the sexiest black kit ever designed. Especially if you’re a Belgian.
FULL TIME. Algeria 1-1 Russia. Algeria are through to play Germany in the second round and it’s no more than they deserve. Russia were very poor after their early goal. It’s the North Africans’ first ever appearance in the knockout stage of the World Cup Finals.
The last 16 starts on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the full line-up:
Brazil vs Chile (28.6.14, 17.00)
Colombia vs Uruguay (28.6.14, 21.00)
Netherlands vs Mexico (29.6.14, 17.00)
Costa Rica vs Greece (29.6.14, 21.00)
France vs Nigeria (30.6.14, 17.00)
Germany vs Algeria (30.6.14, 21.00)
Argentina vs Switzerland (1.7.14, 17.00)
Belgium vs United States (1.7.14, 21.00)
Ho de ho
Hardy har har
Could you recap for me?
I’ve just got home, by the way.
I saw your missus in Brighton.
It was Liassane Cadamuro. Delightfully, he’s not played tonight.
An Algerian substitute just got booked on the bench for timewasting. Always a welcome sight.
Into stoppage time in Curitiba. Russia are pressing Algeria but to be honest, doing so 40-50 yards from the opposition goal is a high risk, low reward strategy.
The Algerian supporters are deep in prayer and contemplation. It makes a pleasant change from seeing England supporters deep a fug of alcohol and disappointment.
Russia are taking our tactical advice, chucking in floater after floater. It’s football of the fling a load of shit and see if any of it sticks school.
Ten minutes to go and Capello is making his last change, Kerzhakov makes way for Kanunnikov. We’re ten minutes from potentially seeing Fabio’s Angry World Cup Face again.
It’s all down to Algeria and Russia now. Russia must win.
Belgium have scored in Sao Paulo. That should end South Korean hopes.
Here are some camels in Algeria
15 minutes to go and Russia are starting to press. Mbolhi in the Algerian goal has already been forced to make one good save. It’s all very much up in the air.
As it stands, Algeria will play Germany in the second round, a match of some significance in World Cup history.
GOAL! And Slimani’s third header is the charm. He pops it inside the right hand post from a free kick. He deserves it, he’s had a good game. 1-1.
Adnan Januzaj is making his competitive debut for Belgium today. One in the eye for Kosovo, there.
Algeria’s keeper makes an important block after a rapid Russian break. Hopefully a sign of an open half to come. In the other game, it remains 0-0 but Belgium are a man down.
the players are coming back out. Algeria need to attack attack attack.
Half-time in Curitiba. Algeria 0-1 Russia. In the other game, South Korea and Belgium are playing out a stalemate. Fairly glad I didn’t go for that one.
Algeria are getting the best of the attempts on goal now. It was Slimani again, this time his header from a corner goes straight at Akinfeev. Their task looks far less hopeless than it did after 15 minutes of this match.
Fabio Capello is wearing a red waistcoat. He looks like the head of entertainments in Pyongyang Butlin’s.
Akinfeev arms have obviously grown some bones since his shaky start to this tournament, and he tips Slimani’s header over the top. Algeria are trying, and all they need is a goal here.
That bear is nowhere near ten yards away.
Here is a bear playing football
Russia are playing very nicely. They play like England used to in qualifying for things but not the tournaments.
Here is a horse playing football
It’s difficult to see past Russia prevailing here, unless Igor “Flappy McButtermitts” Akinfeev has another belter.
Algeria are a funny team. They’re a bit lacking in attack, they’re a bit weak in defence and their midfield is a bit lightweight. It’s possible that they’ve ticked all the boxes of a Not Very Good Team.
South Korea now need a 3-0 win to progress. Stranger things have happened, but not many.
Sofiane Feghouli has a blood injury and is therefore being wrapped like a fine Cornish Yarg before he can continue. While they do, Russia have opened the scoring. A header from their new golden boy Kokorin. Russia 1-0 Algeria.
To spice it up, I’m going to vociferously support Algeria tonight. For 1982, for justice, and for the simple reason I don’t much care for Fabio Capello.
Hello soccer fans, Lovelace Watkins, Eric Morecambe and Zoe Ball alike. I’m watching Algeria and Russia this evening, until it bores me. In a way I hope it does, South Korea are the only team who I’ve not seen play in Brazil 2014, a proud record that I’m looking to keep up.