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World Cup Day Eleven: Belgium v. Russia

The marquee matchup in Group H kicks the day's action off, as Belgium and Russia face off at the Maracana.

Jeff Gross

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

Belgium v. Russia
Sunday, June 22nd | 5PM BST/12PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule

Group H

The two best teams in Group H certainly didn't start their respective openers in impressive form--Belgium were off-kilter and out of sorts against Algeria, going down a goal on a penalty given away by Jan Vertonghen. Tactical and personnel changes by Marc Wilmots in the second half proved the tonic, however, as Marouane Fellaini got the equalizer and Dries Mertens the winner, giving the Belgians their first World Cup victory since 2002. Russia made hard work of it against South Korea, needing a 74th minute goal from Aleksandr Kerzhakov to share the points. Less than ten minutes earlier Igor Akinfeev spilled/fumbled/basically threw a shot from Lee Keun-ho into his own net, and Russia were left to scramble after entering the match as favorites.

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