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Belgium pegged back by Ivory Coast

Belgium 2-2 Ivory Coast
Marouane Fellaini and Radja Nainggolan struck for the hosts who let a two-goal lead slip against their fellow FIFA World Cup contenders.

Belgium celebrate Marouane Fellaini's opener
Belgium celebrate Marouane Fellaini's opener ©AFP/Getty Images

Belgium let slip a two-goal lead against the Ivory Coast as the two FIFA World Cup contenders shared the spoils in Brussels.

Everything was going the hosts' way when Radja Nainggolan's strike in the 51st minute added to Marouane Fellaini's headed first-half opener to give Belgium a 2-0 lead. However, Didier Drogba pulled one back with 16 minutes left before Max Gradel scrambled in the equaliser in stoppage time.

The Red Devils enjoyed a flying start as Fellaini's effort from Dries Mertens's cross was diverted a fraction over the bar. Belgium did not have to wait long, however, as on 17 minutes the Manchester United FC midfielder rose above a bunch of defenders to thump Mertens's corner into the net. Both scorer and provider had chances to extend the advantage, though Marc Wilmots's men also suffered a scare just before the interval as Vincent Kompany's clearance deflected off the head of Cheick Tioté and narrowly wide.

Early in the second period Christian Benteke fired over when clean through, but substitute Nainggolan's cross from the left drifted onto the far post and into the net to make it two. Ivory Coast fought back, however, and Yaya Touré's centre found Drogba who fought off three defenders before rifling in. The Belgians looked like holding on for the win, until in added time their defence failed to deal with a cross and the ball fell to Gradel who made no mistake.