2014 FIFA World Cup: Day Six Recap

Mexico's keeper did everything but score for his team
Mexico's keeper did everything but score for his team

Belgians Escape Embarrassment Against Algeria

For 70 minutes, Algeria actually looked like they had a chance to beat heavily favoured Belgium. Not that they played better than their Belgian opponents—Algeria actually only directed a single shot at Belgium’s goal and managed just over a third of possession—Belgium was just so disorganized they nearly let the game slip away. Algeria scored their first World Cup Final goal in 28 years on a penalty kick—the only chance they were going to have to score—when Sofiane Feghouli was hauled down by Jan Vertonghen in the penalty area and casually flicked his penalty shot past Belgium’s keeper. Algeria spent the next 45 minutes holding back all but one forward player in order to stifle Belgium. And it worked right up until Marouane “Disco Stu” Fellaini bounced a cross off his sunstantial coif and onto underside of the crossbar in the 70th minute, rescuing his mates from a mortifying defeat. Fellow substitute Dries Mertens found the net 10 minutes later as he trailed an odd man rush, collected a pass and blew a shot right past the keeper. Belgium tightroped out of the game with three points, but should have plenty to worry about going forward.

Mexican Keeper Gives Host Brazil Fits

Mexico has a new national hero: superhuman goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. The keeper made a series of stunning saves, none more impressive than on a surgical strike off the head of Brazilian superstar Neymar that was destined for the bottom corner of Mexico’s net, but was turned aside by Ochoa’s right hand just as it was crossing the line. The 90 minutes between Brazil and Mexico proved we don’t have to see a batch of goals to get truly entertaining soccer. Both teams played loose and creative, each making forays deep into the other’s end and neither content to sit back and wait for the game to come to them.Brazil claimed most of the opportunities in the first half, directing several meaningful shots at Ochoa, who was named man of the match for his efforts. In the second half Mexico pressed, getting everything right but their shots on goal, which they ritually sailed inches high. Brazil is still the better team, but the draw could give Mexico an outside chance at advancing to the next round.

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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