Sao Paulo / Curitiba: Russia led Algeria 1-0 at half-time in Curitiba, while Korea and Belgium were locked 0-0 in Sao Paulo in Group H matches, on Thursday.
Alexander Kokorin kept Russia’s hopes alive, taking his team ahead as early as in the sixth minute with a superb header that left Algerian custodian Rais with no chance. Dmitri Kombarov received on the left flank and, the left back sent a measured cross, which was slotted home by Kokorin.
In Sao Paulo, a rather uneventful first-half was made lively right at the end with Belgium’s Steven Defour being sent off.
Defour was shown a straight red card after a tough tackle on Kim Shinwook. The Belgian stepped on Shinwook’s shin in a rather reckless fashion.
Belgium ’keeper Thibaut Courtois showed why he is considered among the world’s best by producing one superb first-half stop as South Korea’s unlikely bid to avoid a World Cup exit floundered on Thursday.
Courtois made an instinctive save to keep out Ki Sung-yeung’s low blast. Belgium, who have already qualified for the pre-quarters, made seven changes to their starting side.