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World Cup talking points: Mexico need firepower, while Brazil stutter

1) Will Wilmots learn from his narrow escape?

He went to four World Cups as a player and had a goal controversially disallowed in Belgiums last appearance in the tournament against Brazil. But that was 12 years ago and, amid all the hype about the talent in this Belgian team, it has been almost overlooked that they have little experience of tournament football on the pitch or in the dugout. Wilmots tried to claim afterwards that his plan had been to pass Algeria to death in the first half by overloading the midfield and then throwing on his substitutes to win it. But the relief etched on his face when first Marouane Fellaini equalised and then the electric Dries Mertens rescued three points told its own story.

Wilmots has rotated tactics and personnel regularly and Kevin De Bruyne, who had a hand in both goals, said afterwards he was surprised to start on the right after they had not trained that way. Romelu Lukaku, leading the attack in the place of the injured Christian Benteke, struggled to provide the movement that the midfield five required and the Tottenham Hotspur pair of Mousa Dembl and Nacer Chadli were disappointing in the centre. It was only once Wilmots changed things and, admittedly, Algerian legs began to tire that Eden Hazard and De Bruyne started to make headway. With three points in the bag and opening game jitters conquered, the fascinating thing will be whether Wilmots and Belgium can push on from here. The dilemma is whether to stick with a similar starting XI or shake things up again. And, most pressingly, whether to persist with Lukaku. Owen Gibson

? Belgium 2C1 Algeria C match report? Wilmots says he never lost faith

2) Algeria helpless under aerial assault

In a match that was cagey but intriguing until Belgium equalised, Algeria showcased their strengths and obvious weaknesses. Admirably stout in defence until after the interval, they were happy to let Belgium have the ball in their own half, choosing to sit back and defend in numbers a couple of metres outside their own penalty area as the Belgians repeatedly huffed and puffed in an increasingly futile bid to blow the house down. With the exception of a couple of nervy moments shortly before half-time, Algerias Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodzic must have been delighted to see Belgiums much-vaunted generation of young talent reduced to trying long-range pot-shots in the hope of can you wash canada goose jacket finding an equaliser, once it became apparent the Belgian Plan A of attempting to play their way through the massed ranks of Algerians was failing dismally. Sadly for Halilhodzic, Belgiums Plan B worked a treat and the second-half introduction of Dries Mertens, Marouane Fellaini and Divock Origi worked a treat, when it became apparent that Algeria were helpless in the face of an aerial assault, when crosses started raining in from the flanks. It is a match which the managers of Algerias other group opponents, Russia and South Korea, will have watched with interest and Fabio Capello and Hong Myung-bo may owe their Belgian counterpart Marc Wilmots a debt of gratitude for eventually exposing the game African sides obvious weakness. If at first, second and third you dont succeed in going through them, throw on the big man and send the ball over them. Barry Glendenning

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