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Russia’s forward Alexander Kokorin (center), is watched by teammate Russia’s midfielder Viktor Faizulin (left), as he attempts to kick the ball away from Belgium’s defender Toby Alderweireld (right), during the Group H football match between Belgium and Russia at The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 22, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)
ALGERIA BEAT SOUTH KOREA, CLOSE IN ON WC LAST 16 Supersub Origi sinks Russia

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 22, (Agencies): Teenaged substitute Divock Origi slammed a last gasp goal Sunday to secure Belgium a 1-0 victory over Russia and a place in the World Cup’s last 16. The win was a new step in Belgium’s emergence as a European power, 12 years after their last appearance at the World Cup finals. Russia, who are to host the 2018 finals, have a growing qualification mountain in front of them. The 19-year-old Origi who plays with Lille in France came on for Romelu Lukaku as the frustrating Group H game seemed destined to end in stalemate until the 88th minute goal.

Seconds after fellow substitute Kevin Mirallas had hit Igor Akinfeev’s post with a free kick, Eden Hazard burst down the left past two defenders and pulled the ball back for Origi to hit into the net from close range. The win left Belgium as clear Group H leaders with a maximum six points from two games after their 2-1 win over Algeria. Russia are in danger of going out having started with a draw against South Korea following a huge blunder by keeper Igor Akinfeev. Now coach Fabio Capello must rally the troops for a do or die contest against Algeria in the last game of the first round group on Thursday.

Belgium and Russia made a bright start and the opening minutes saw chances at both ends. Victor Fayzulin, a Zenit St Petersburg midfielder full of running, swept into the the box and fired in a low effort that Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois smartly stopped low to his right The Belgians, coached by Marc Wilmots, who scored in a 3-2 win for his country in a 2002 group meeting against Russia, responded as Dries Mertens pulled the midfield strings. Mertens accelerated into the danger zone only to thump an effort wide of the right hand post of Akinfeev, retained despite his butterfingers mistake against the Koreans in Cuiaba. Mertens drilled another effort wide as the Belgians, semi-finalists in 1986 when they were finally undone by Diego Maradona, turned the screw.


With the runners-up in the group likely to face Germany, assuming the three-time champions top their group, there was every incentive for both sides to chase the win.
Russia enjoyed a purple patch as the opening half came to an end, Fayzulin smacking a volley just over following a corner. Denis Glushakov, booked for clattering Merhrtens, then crossed for Alexander Kokorin, who avoided being the meat in a Vertonghen-Vincent Kompany sandwich but sent a free header off target. Capello, striving to improve on his 2010 flop when in charge of England, again left veteran forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov out of the starting 11, despite his goal against South Korea. A cameo appearance came too late.
The Italian coach, whose entire squad is home based, also left creative Alan Dzagoev on the bench at the outset.


Meanwhile, Algeria took a huge step towards qualifying for the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time with a thrilling 4-2 Group H win over South Korea in Porto Alegre on Sunday.
Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou gave Algeria a 3-0 halftime lead before the Koreans scored with their first shot on goal, Son Heung-min turning smartly in the box to fire between Rais Mbolhi’s legs in the 50th minute.
Yacine Brahimi found the net just after the hour to restore Algeria’s three-goal cushion, making them the first African side to score four goals in a World Cup game, before Koo Ja-cheol pulled another goal back midway through the second half.
Algeria are second in Group H on three points, ahead of the Koreans and Russia, who each have one. Belgium beat Russia 1-0 earlier on Sunday to seal their spot in the next round.

World Cup Results/Standings
Results
Nigeria    1    Bosnia    0
Belgium    1    Russia    0
Algeria    4    South Korea    2
Standings
Group A
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Brazil    2    1    1    0    3    1    4
Mexico    2    1    1    0    1    0    4
Croatia    2    1    0    1    5    3    3
Cameroon    2    0    0    2    0    5    0
Group B
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Netherlands*    2    2    0    0    8    3    6
Chile*    2    2    0    0    5    1    6
Australia    2    0    0    2    3    6    0
Spain    2    0    0    2    1    7    0
Group C
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Colombia*    2    2    0    0    5    1    6
Ivory Coast    2    1    0    1    3    3    3
Japan    2    0    1    1    1    2    1
Greece    2    0    1    1    0    3    1
Group D
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Costa Rica*    2    2    0    0    4    1    6
Italy    2    1    0    1    2    2    3
Uruguay    2    1    0    1    3    4    3
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
England    2    0    0    2    2    4    0
Group E
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
France    2    2    0    0    8    2    6
Ecuador    2    1    0    1    3    3    3
Switzerland    2    1    0    1    4    6    3
Honduras    2    0    0    2    1    5    0
Group F
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Argentina*    2    2    0    0    3    1    6
Nigeria    2    1    1    0    1    0    4
Iran    2    0    1    1    0    1    1
Bosnia    2    0    0    2    1    3    0
Group G
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Germany    2    1    1    0    6    2    4
USA    1    1    0    0    2    1    3
Ghana    2    0    1    1    3    4    1
Portugal    1    0    0    1    0    4    0
Group H
    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Belgium*    2    2    0    0    3    1    6
Algeria    2    1    0    1    5    4    3
Russia    2    0    1    1    1    2    1
South Korea    2    0    1    1    3    5    1
Note: 1. Standings read as Played, Won, Drawn, Lost, Goal For, Goals Against and Points.
Note 2:  * —  Denotes qualified for last 16. (RTRS)

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