The Corner is the euronews look at all things World Cup related, the matches, the atmosphere, hysteria and disappointment.
Euronews journalist Slimane Yacini is our guide:
“Welcome to the World Cup Corner. After twelve years away from a major international football tournament Belgium return to the top table with a win over Algeria.”
Belgium’s golden generation came under the microscope against Algeria. Sofiane Feghouli put Algeria ahead from the spot in the first half.
Substitute Marouane Fellaini leveled for Belgium. Dries Mertens popped in the winner on 80 minutes. Final score Belgium 2 Algeria 1.
It was an insipid first half performance from the much fancied Belgians, but the team got back into to gear in the second and overhauled Algeria to claim the win.
For the fans watching in Brussels World Cup hysteria took hold.
Belgian boss, Marc Wilmots the hero of the 90 minutes: “It was extraordinary, what a second half. Wilmots is a genius he always finds a solution,” said one fan, another summed up the feeling in the capital: “The most impressive thing was Marc Wilmots the two match winning changes he made, the team didn’t play that well. Wilmots was man of the match.”
Next up for Belgium Russia in the Maracana.
In the other match in Group H
South Korea took on Russia and a second half long range punt by Kuen-ho Lee was fumbled by Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev, a dreadful error.
Russia equalised seven minutes later thanks to marksman Alexsander Kerzakov who pounced to salvage a draw for Russia and save Akinfeev’s blushes.
Belgium top Group H with Russia and South Korea sharing second after the 1-1 draw.
Mexico silenced the Brazilians in Fortaleza in Group A with a brilliant performance.
Despite the scoreless draw the game was edge-of-the-seat-stuff as Mexico peppered the Brazilian goal.
Still the hosts had their own chances and both goalkeepers deserve credit for the keeping the hopes of both nations alive.
So Brazil top Group A from Mexico.
Croatia and Cameroon meet later today.
Slimane Yacini:“After humiliation at the hands of the Dutch, Spain must react and quickly to defend their world crown. They play Chile who looked hot against Australia. The rampant Dutch take on the Socceroos.”
The world will be watching to see if the Dutch can reproduce the form that saw them not only defeat Spain, but do it in style.
The opening goal scored by Robin Van Persie fulfilled many a World Cup fantasy.
The Netherlands, however are staying focused knowing the job is not yet done.
For Australia a win is crucial after losing to Chile.
Tim Cahill, former premier league star, play a part if the Socceroos are to regain their bounce, failure means the long haul home.
Spain take on Chile in group B in a game they must win or see its recent domination of world football come to an end. The question is how will coach Vicente del Bosque react to the drubbing. Will he stay loyal to his proven match winners or will he ring the changes.
Chile are playing it cool, a 3-1 win over Australia and Spain’s obvious discomfort will be a real boost for the team, which will not only be looking to dump the world champions out of the tournament, but also gain revenge after Spain beat Chile 2-1 in Pretoria in the 2010 World Cup.
Slimane Yacini: “Let’s have a look at the euronews sports team predictions for Wednesday matches, they may or not turn out to be correct, why not join in and give us your predictions on hashtag #TheCornerScores.”
Slimane Yacini: “As accommodation is thin on the ground in Brazil many football fans are taking the cheaper options of checking into ‘Love Hotels’ or sleeping under the stars on the beaches for nothing.”
Lapping waves and golden sands sound like a dream come true for the less well heeled football fan, but as a way of saving money and sampling the true taste of the World Cup is no hardship as Emilli from Mexico explains: “Look it’s an adventure. We all came here for an adventure. We have no place to stay and if we can stay on the beach. Why not? That’s how to make friends right. “
Any place will do to crash out a van, car or ledge, this is no-frills World Cup watching.
Not a Fifa delegate in sight.
In Manuas with all the hotels booked England fans in the town for the match against Italy spent the sultry nights in ‘Love hotels.’
“It was the only hotel left in Manaus when I booked.” said one England fan.
Football fans are hardy beasts and a bed for the night is all that is required after a footy feast and few scoops with the locals.
Slimane Yacini: “That’s it for The Corner join us for more as the 20 th Football World Cup begins to take shape. Bye for now.”