Belgium 2 Algeria 1: Player ratings as Tottenham defender falters

Belgium 2 Algeria 1: Player ratings as Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen concedes a first-half penalty in narrow victory

By Josh Nicholls
Belgium
2
Algeria
1

Belgium

Thibaut Courtois Was sent the wrong way by Feghouli for the penalty but other than that had nothing to do but watch his team-mates toil. 5/10

Toby Alderweireld Sucked in-field and consequently couldn’t prevent Ghoulam’s cross which led to the penalty being awarded. Offered slightly more than Vertonghen going forward. 5

Vincent Kompany Was not at fault for the awarding of the penalty and was not really asked any other questions throughout the match as Algeria sat back and tried to hang on to the lead. 5

Daniel Van Buyten Had one awkward moment in the first half, allowing Mahrez to get a shot at goal but other than that was not tested. 5

Jan Vertonghen His awkwardness going forward smacked of a player out of position at left-back. His defensive performance was worse as his clumsy challenge after being caught the wrong side Feghouli caused the penalty to be awarded. 3

Axel Witsel One of the few bright spots for Belgium in the first half with two ferocious shots and drove his team-mates on as their fortunes improved. 7

Moussa Dembele Tried to get on the ball early on but really struggled to used his power to any real effect. 5

Kevin De Bruyne Belgium will hope for more from their number seven later on in the tournament but he did provide one moment of quality with an excellent delivery for Fellaini’s headed equaliser. 6

Nacer Chadli Anonymous in the attacking midfield role behind Lukaku as Belgium laboured in the first half, was unceremoniously hooked by Wilmots at half-time in favour of Mertens. 4

Eden Hazard Talk of him being criticised for his performances for Belgium appeared justified as Hazard was a shadow of the player we have seen for Chelsea this season. Laid on the second goal for Mertens, however, and will hope to improve. 6

Romelu Lukaku Very ineffective. Got no joy at all against the diligent Bougherra even resorted to dropping late in the first half such was his frustration. The fact he was substituted early for virtual rookie at international level Origi spoke volumes. 4

Substitutes

Dries Mertens His paced posed the Algerian defence with an alternative problem and he kept his nerve and provided a calm finish to score Belgium’s crucial second goal. 7

Divock Origi Lightning quick and worried Algeria’s defenders more than Lukaku did, but shot straight at Rais when presented with Belgium’s best opportunity of the match at that point. 6

Marouane Fellaini Coming on to play further forward in the position were he thrived in his Everton days his abrasive approach provided the different dimension Belgium needed. His thunderous header for the equaliser was testament to the impact he made. 7

Algeria

Mbolhi Rais Could do little about the goals but one feels his tendency to punch the ball a lot could be punished later on in the tournament. 6

Mehdi Mostefa Part of a hard-working Algeria back four, whose admirable and stubborn resistance was eventually broken in the heat of Belo Horizante. 6

Madjid Bougherra A warrior in defence – marshalled Lukaku fantastically but was admittedly less comfortable against the pace of Origi. 7

Rafik Halliche Looked comfortable alongside Bougherra for 70 minutes but was left shell-shocked like his team-mates by Belgium’s late flurry. 6

Faouzi Ghoulam Delightful curling cross during a rare foray down the left caused the chaos that led to the penalty being awarded. 6

Carl Medjani Combined well with Bentaleb denying Belgium any pockets of space in front of the back four, could have scored with a glancing header early in the first half. 7

Nabil Bentaleb The youngest player on the pitch, but did not look it. He looked after the ball in midfield and tenaciously went about his defensive duties. 7

Saphir Taider Went about his business diligently in midfield along with his compatriots but made hardly any impact going forward. 5

Sofiane Feghouli Showed the confidence in his own technical proficiency fans of La Liga have come to expect with a composed penalty. 6

Riyad Mahrez The Leicester City man fired a decent opening wildly over in the first half and faded as the game went on despite showing some promising early touches. 5

El Arabi Soudani His performance as the lone striker defined the phrase ‘ploughing a lone furrow’ had no service whatsoever, but ran around a lot. 5

Substitutes

Islam Slimani Continued in Soudani’s role with no joy. 5

Lacen Made little impact as Belgium took control late on in the match. 5

Nabil Ghilas The Porto forward was starved of the ball as Belgium’s second crushed the Algerians’ spirit. 5

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