World Cup 2014 review – Algeria

Quarter-finals: FranceColombiaBelgiumCosta Rica

Round of 16: ChileUruguayMexicoGreeceNigeriaAlgeriaSwitzerlandUSA
A: CroatiaCameroon B: SpainAustralia C: Ivory CoastJapan D: ItalyEngland
E: EcuadorHonduras F: BosniaIran G: PortugalGhana H: RussiaSouth Korea

ALGERIA

World Cup progress: Round of 16

Team rating: 8

Top scorer: Djabou, Slimani (2)

Algeria defied the odds in advancing to the knockout stages before running Germany the distance in the Last 16, writes Oli Coates.

Beyond expectations

In a tournament that has seen African sides struggle on the whole, Algeria exceeded expectations with their performance. Progressing out of a difficult Group H was impressive enough after an opening defeat against Belgium, but in taking the might of Germany to 120 minutes, Vahid Halilhodzic’s side almost pulled off one of the World Cup’s great upsets.

Algeria recovered from the disappointment of a late Belgian revival to put on one of the summer’s best games in an enthralling 4-2 victory against South Korea. This was followed up with a hard fought draw against Russia that saw Fabio Capello’s team eliminated.

Overcoming the Germans was just too much to ask, but Algeria had their more illustrious opponents worried with their pace and athleticism on the break. It was an incredible effort that could have yielded more, the consolation from Abdelmoumene Djabou at the death was the least that the Africans deserved.

The Coach – Vahid Halilhodzic

Steered his team out of a difficult section thanks to some excellent organisation that was twinned with attacking threat and adventure. Made Germany look like a shadow of themselves for much of the Round of 16 tie, having already made history by reaching the knockouts. He was unlucky not to be leading Algeria further.

Player of the Tournament – Islam Slimani

Two Man of the Match performances in Group H propelled Algeria into the Round of 16. Was a live wire against Korea in the exciting win over the Asian outfit that ignited their campaign, and scored the all-important equaliser against Russia to secure his side’s first ever progression from the group stages.

Memorable moment

Slimani’s headed equaliser against Russia set up a scoreline that would see Algeria qualify, and once they had this, the Africans were never going to let it slip.

Results

17-Jun-14 Belgium 2-1 Algeria Group H
22-Jun-14 South Korea 2-4 Algeria Group H
26-Jun-14 Algeria 1-1 Russia Group H
Group H P W D L F A Pts
Belgium 3 3 0 0 4 1 9
Algeria 3 1 1 1 6 5 4
Russia 3 0 2 1 2 3 2
South Korea 3 0 1 2 3 6 1
30-Jun-14 Germany 2-1 Algeria Round of 16
    aet    

Squad

No Pos Player Apps Goals Assists
1 GK Cedric Si Mohammed
2 D Madjid Bouguerra 3
3 D Faouzi Ghoulam 2
4 D Esseid Belkalem 3
5 D Rafik Halliche 4 1
6 D Djamel Mesbah 2
7 M Hassan Yebda 1
8 M Medhi Lacen 3
9 A Nabil Ghilas 3
10 A Sofiane Feghouli 4 1 2
11 M Yacine Brahimi 3 1 1
12 D Carl Medjani 3
13 A Islam Slimani 4 2 1
14 M Nabil Bentaleb 3
15 A El Arabi Soudani 3
16 GK Mohamed Zemmamouche
17 D Liassine Cadamuro
18 A Abdelmoumene Djabou 3 2 1
19 M Saphir Taider 2
20 D Aissa Mandi 3
21 A Riyad Mahrez 1
22 M Mehdi Mostefa 2
23 GK Rais Mbolhi 4

For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.