Wilmots pleased by Belgium patience

Belgium Coach Marc Wilmots has said he was pleased his side didn’t panic as they overturned Algeria’s lead in their World Cup Group H encounter, Sky Sports has reported.

Algeria took the lead through a first-half Sofiane Feghouli penalty but second-half goals from Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens saw the Red Devils take three points. Wilmots said after the final whistle that his players did well to turn around the deficit against a defence-minded team.

“This was a difficult game against a team that always moves backwards,” he said. “We made a very small mistake, but that is punished at a World Cup. You then have to show patience and we did.

“During the second half, we have shown our mental strength with this young group. The squad has made all the difference,” Wilmots added.

Wilmots added that he hopes his players hit the ground running in their next game, against Russia, who drew 1-1 with South Korea later of Tuesday. “What is important now is three points,” he said. “First we have to recover and then put the focus on the next game against Russia. We will be looking to continue to build on this momentum.”

Belgium are competing at their first World Cup since 2002, when the tournament was held in Japan and South Korea. Wilmots captained that side and helped Belgium reach the first knockout round, where they lost to eventual champions Brazil.

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