(CHICAGO) --Day 6 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament began in Belo Horizonte under sunny skies and almost 57,000 fans in the stands at Estadio Mineiro.
The Desert Foxes of Algeria had not scored a goal in World Cup play since 1986, but in the 25th minute Tuesday, Algeria's best player, Sofiane Feghouli, put the ball in the back of the Belgian net and it was 1-0. But the Red Devils are not ranked 11th in FIFA's ratings for nothing. They tightened their defense and in the 70th minute, Kevin De Bruyne, the man of the match, fed Marouane Fellaini with a great crossing pass and headed it home to tie the game. Ten minutes later, Eden Hazard fed Dries Mertens with a perfect pass and he banged it home from the left side and Belgium survived Algeria 2-1.
In the second match of the day, 16th of the tournament, Brazil hosted Mexico and Lakers star Kobe Bryant was in the house at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil. And one of the NBA's most prolific scorers witnessed.... no scoring at all. This one ended in a 0-0 tie, both teams get a point and are tied atop the Group A standings with 4 points apiece. Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa was the man of this match making two fantastic saves, one on the great Neymar Jr., and the other on Thiago Silva at point-blank range.
In the final match of the day, the 19th Ranked team from Russia faced the 57th rated team from the Korean Republic. This one was scoreless for 68 minutes until Keunho Lee collected the ball and drilled it home, 1-0 Korea. But less than six minutes later, substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov, inside the 6-yard box kicked in the tying marker. And that's how it ended. A 1-1 tie, so both nations get a point apiece. It's a victory in my mind for the Koreans.
Wednesday's action features 62nd rated Australia looking for its first win of the tournament against 15th ranked Netherlands; the Orange destroyed top-ranked Spain 5-1 in the opener for both clubs. I have to go with the Dutch to win this one, sorry Aussies. In game 2 of the seventh day top-ranked Spain will take on 14th ranked Chile, and after the Spaniards got their behinds kicked by Holland, I don't think head coach Vincente Del Bosque will allow top player Christiano Ronaldo to "zone out" like he did in game 1. I have Spain getting the three points.
And in the final matchup, 56th ranked Cameroon takes on 18th rated Croatia. Despite the disparity in ranking, I think this is a close game and it might be a draw, but I'll give the Croatians another chance to impress me. I have them winning 1-0.
Up to this point in the tournament I am now 11-6, because I picked Russia to win and they had a draw.
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Since joining ABC7 in 1982, Jim Rose has become a major force in Chicago sports broadcasting. He currently serves as sports anchor/reporter for ABC7 News in Chicago's top-rated 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts. He is an avid fan of the World Cup! Learn more about Jim