Battle for foreign French speakers

It looked like the battle for French-outside-of-France was going to go the Algerian way.  Despite the Belgians dominating possession, the Algerians scored indirectly off a free kick from near the corner, on the left-hand side.  In defending the cross, Vertonghen fouled one of the Algerians for a penalty kick, and the African side, in the person of Feghouli, converted.

After the goal, the Algerians spent the remainder of the first half impressively packing it into the box.  I was skeptical that they'd be able to make that work, but they got out of the half that way.

In the second half, they stretched a bit more, both offensively and defensively.  And held on long enough for a cameraman to find someone in the crowd with a white shirt that said, "Algerie 1 - Belgique 0" (which was very cool, I must admit).

It took longer than I expected, but the equalizer came in the seventieth minute.  It was a simple cross in to Fellaini (who'd subbed in five minutes earlier) in the box, and he flicked it on to the bottom of the crossbar on the opposite side.

From there, Algeria did try to play more aggressively, but it availed them naught.  The belgians were able to pretty much romp for a while, generating chances at will.  But they did only manage to convert one, when Merten fired a nice shot from the right, near the edge of the box, hard enough that the goalie had no chance on it.  What was especially nice on the play, though, was the feed to Merten, as the entire play was coming down the left, and the other forward fed it into space for him to pick up and shoot quickly.  Very nice vision.

Belgium had one more chance after that, as I recall, but nobody was able to score.  So the result wasn't terribly unexpected, but the road to get there certainly was.  Kudos to the Algerians for hanging in for so long.  Although I never expected their delay/defend strategy to work, I would not have been upset if it had.

Update: I forgot to mention that Origi came on in the 58th minute, and I was very impressed with him.  In particular, his speed is unbelievable.  The Algerians had nobody close.

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