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With all on the line for Russia, Belgium made their possibility of staying in the competition that much harder, and Algeria has a goal frenzy in the first half of play against South Korea. Portugal just barely keeps the team's World Cup hopes alive with a heartbreaking tie for the USA.
Group H: Belgium v Russia, 1-0
The “dark horse” of the competition, Belgium, have lived up to the hype solidifying their entry into the next stage of competition with a late goal in their match against Russia. As Telegraph UK pointed out, play for much of the game was back and forth, without much to say. Both teams came out in the middle of the second half fighting as time was chipping away, but it wouldn’t come until the 88th minute that Belgium’s Divock Origi would score the goal winner. The Belgium side were overcome with joy (as coach Marc Wilmots leaps in the picture below) as they head into the round of 16 for the first time since 2002.
Group H: South Korea v Algeria, 2-4
With Belgium’s win over Algeria in the first round, the North African nation needed to make up ground…and they definitely did. With a 4-2 win over South Korea, Algeria went on a goal scoring frenzy during the first half with back-to-back goals in the 26th and 28th minute, and another in 38th. South Korea looked to make a comeback in the second with a goal in the first five minutes but Algeria would answer back in the 62nd with a fourth goal. Ending with a decisive win, Algeria will face Russia to determine a shot in the round of 16.
Group G: USA v Portugal, 2-2
In a David and Goliath game of USA v Portugal, all seemed almost lost in the first 5 minutes as Nani put one past the Americans after a faulty clearance. The U.S. would continue done by at the half, but came out fighting during the second. With several chances, and a lucky Portugal block from a kick from Bradley in the 6 yard box, Jermaine Jones stepped up to the plate and let off a cracker into the back of the net from distance. Captain Clint Dempsey would score the second with only 10 minutes left in normal time, ricocheting off his stomach for a goal. Desperate for a goal, in the 95th minute, the last play of the game, Ronaldo would send one into the front of the goal and Silvestre Varela would head one in. Although a very long shot, this would give Portugal hope of a 5-deficit goal difference to make it to the next stage of competition. This also leaves an open door for Ghana, if they can win against Portugal on Thursday for a possible comeback.
June 22, the third and final round of the group stage begins with eight games played per day for the next four days. Group B Netherlands v Chile and Australia v Spain. Netherlands and Chile fight it out for the top spot in the group, while, in an inconsequential match, Australia and Spain fight for one win in their last game of the tournament. Group A Croatia v Mexico and Cameroon v Brazil, with both Mexico and Brazil looking to win their respective games and lead the group. With a win over Mexico though, Croatia can ensure a spot in the round of 16 and knock Mexico out of the tournament.