A look at the teams competing in Group H at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil:




FIFA World ranking: 22.

Last World Cup: 2010.

Best World Cup finish: Group stage.

How qualified: Beat Burkina Faso in CAF playoff.

It's a fact: Author Albert Camus was a goalkeeper in school, which probably makes the University of Algiers the only college to have had a Nobel Prize-winning keeper.

The skinny: Algeria, which hasn't won a major trophy since capturing the African Cup of Nations in 1990, has had to fight for respect. South Africa marked the team's first appearance in a World Cup in 24 years and Algeria exited winless again after losing its final game to the U.S. on Landon Donovan's goal in stoppage time. This young, inexperienced team is playing with more flair behind Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani but it still struggles on offense. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic loves to go to his bench, mixing and matching his lineup to take advantage of his opponent's weaknesses.


FIFA World ranking: 11.

Last World Cup: 2002.

Best World Cup finish: Fourth place (1986).

How qualified: UEFA Group A winner.

It's a fact: Belgium will be the least-traveled team in the group stage, having to travel less than 1,400 miles back and forth to its three group-stage games. The U.S. is traveling nearly 9,000 miles.

The skinny: With 23-year-old Chelsea forward Eden Hazard up front. Manchester United's 26-year-old Marouane Fellaini in midfield, Manchester City's 28-year-old captain Vincent Kompany on defense and Atletico Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois, 22, in goal, Belgium has a solid, experienced collection of young, big-name stars who have performed well in the hyper-competitive English Premier League. As a result, the World Cup won't intimidate them. And they've played well lately, shutting out Sweden and Tunisia in their last two warmups. One question mark is the fitness of 21-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku, who injured his ankle in last week's friendly with Tunisia.


FIFA World ranking: 19.

Last World Cup: 2002.