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WC group H:Algeria sends Russia home,10 men Belgium wins against N.Korea

 Defender Jan Vertonghen scored from a rebound in the 78th minute to give 10-man Belgium a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday to clinch top spot in Group H at the World Cup.

It was Belgium’s third straight victory of the group stage and set up a meeting with the Unites States in the round of 16,

South Korea was eliminated with the loss — joining the other three Asian nations at the tournament.

Vertonghen was a stand-in captain for injured star Vincent Kompany. He knocked in the winner after South Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu had saved a shot from Divock Origi.

Belgium was reduced to 10 men just before the break when Steven Defour was sent off for a two-footed challenge, but South Korea couldn’t capitalize.

Another World Cup, another failure for Fabio Capello. The former England manager needed victory to give him the chance to avenge the humiliating defeat against Germany four years ago.

Instead, the highest-paid manager in the tournament on £6.5million a year will be on a flight back to Moscow after Islam Slimani’s header on the hour sent Algeria into the knockout stages for the first time in their history, with Joachim Low’s side awaiting them in the last 16.

Capello was under immense pressure to drop Russian football’s poster boy Alexander Kokorin in favour of Aleksandr Kerzhakov but in the end, he started them both.

And under-fire striker Kokorin repaid his manager’s faith by giving Russia a sixth-minute lead by planting an unstoppable header past Adi Mbolhi from Oleg Shatov’s outswinging cross. The 23-year-old held his finger to his mouth as he celebrated, perhaps a response to critics home.

On the touchline, Capello was more concerned about building on his side’s dream start. And Russia threatened to increase their lead inside the opening 25 minutes. Denis Glushakov’s couldn’t quite pull the trigger following a dangerous run through the heart of Algeria’s back four, while Shatov watched a wicked long range effort fly narrowly wide of Mbolhi’s goal.

Slowly but surely, though, the Algerians dusted off the early cobwebs, with the impressive Yacine Brahimi leading his nation’s charge.

Vahid Halilhodzic’s side went within inches of equalising in the 29th minute when Slimani saw his header from Yacine Brahimi’s corner brilliantly tipped over the bar by Igor Akinfeev.

Three minutes from half-time the pair combined again but Slimani saw his header saved once more.

And the Algerians were nearly punished two minutes into the second half when Mbolhi produced an excellent point-blank save from Alexander Samedov after an incisive one-two with Kokorin.

The importance of Mbolhi’s save was amplified on the hour when the Algerians levelled.

Brahimi and Slimani had already caused Russia problems in the first half but Capello’s side didn’t learn their lesson.

This time Slimani’s header from Brahimi’s free-kick beat Akinfeev to put the Algerians back on course for the knockout stages and send their supporters into a frenzy.

Algeria boss Halilhodzic took the surprising decision to take off Brahimi, his side’s most potent attacking threat, with 20 minutes left as he looked to protect his side’s point.

Likewise, Capello knew it was now or never as he urged his side on in search of a decisive second.

But for all their late pressure, the Russians struggled to carve out an opportunity that could save their World Cup as the Algerians kept the wolves from their door. Capello cut a frustrated figure in his technical area, while Halilhodzic tried his best to keep cool.

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