July 9, 2010
The dust has settled. Now, with hindsight, we can have a more realistic look at the track record of the Algerian national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Before the World Cup qualifiers, not many people would have put their money on Algeria qualifying among the five best teams in Africa. The stated objective of the Algerian Football Federation was to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. But the Desert Warriors went one better and managed to qualify for the ultimate prize: The World Cup. After twenty-four years of waiting, Algeriaâ€™s players had finally hit the jackpot and ensured their participation in the biggest global sporting event. But how did they do in South Africa?
June 24, 2010
The earliy predictions have been proven right. As was expected, England and The USA have qualified from Group C. Algeria and Slovenia have to go home. Algeria and Slovenia fought hard to try and get through and the suspense lasted until the 92nd minute of the last match, until the USA scored the only goal of the match. Slovenia missed out on qualification by a whisker.
Going into the last match, Algeria had to win by a two-goal margin to qualify. That was a big ask for a team that had scored only one goal ( a penalty) in their last 5 matches. So Algeria left the World Cup without scoring a single goal.
June 19, 2010
In the Green Point Stadium in South Africa, Algeria created an upset by drawing against England. Before the England-Algeria game, all the punters, football commentators and observers were portraying Algeria as a sacrificial lamb. Even Wayne Rooney had gone on record a couple of times in the press saying that Algeria will be wiped out. But Saadane and his boys had other ideas.
Yesterday, Algeria, who had spent twenty four years without World Cup participation, gave England a run for their money. They surprised England with their ability to keep possession of the ball, defend with discipline and attack with pace and flair. Technically the Algerian players appeared at ease and matched or, at times, were even superior to their English counterparts.
June 14, 2010
The Algeria-Slovenia match was a non event until Chaouchi made the blunder that sank his team.
Algeria missed their first outing against arguably the weakest team in the group. It looked as if both teams were quite content to get a draw, but Ghezzal and Chaouchi decided otherwise.
June 6, 2010
It was third time lucky for Algeria. They finally managed a win over the UAE, albeit by a miserly penalty scored by Karim Ziani in the second half following Sbait Khaterâ€™s handling of the ball in the box. It was an unconvincing win, but a win nonetheless that will spur Algeria on to look forward to putting on a good show in the World Cup finals.
In their first group match against Slovenia on June 13th, the Algerians will have to play a lot better than they did in their match against the UAE to have any hope of reaping something out of that match.
May 29, 2010
Algeria were left to pick up the pieces after yet another defeat which is a bad omen for next monthâ€™s World Cup. Last nightâ€™s friendly match between Ireland and Algeria did not live up to expectations. For the Algerians that is. For them there was nothing to write home about. For the Irish, who were playing their last match before going on holiday, it was all one way. They dispatched Algeria with a 3-0 scoreline and went to celebrate with a cool pint of Guinness.
This second consecutive 3-0 defeat in the lead-up to the World Cup finals left the Algerian fans dejected and dispirited. For Saadane, Algeriaâ€™s coach, it was back to the drawing board to try and salvage some pride against the UAE in Germany in their last friendly before heading for South Africa.
May 28, 2010
Disbelief soon gave way to the realization of the bitter truth: Algeria will be without their playmaker in South Africa. The news came as a bombshell throwing consternation among the fans of the Desert Warriors: Mourad Meghni will not be in the World Cup. His knee is out of commission.
Mourad Meghni had valiantly fought for months his injury to try and be among his teammates in this marvelous World Cup adventure which every football player dreams of and wants to be part of. But for Mourad Meghni, it was not to be.
May 21, 2010
The Algerian national team have started altitude training in Switzerland amid much concern over the fitness woes of some of the most influential members of the squad.
With the upcoming friendly against Ireland on May 28th in Dublin drawing nearer, for some players it is a race against time to be ready for this important match and prove their fitness to the coaching staff before the final list of 23 players is sent to FIFA on June 1st.
May 13, 2010
The much-awaited list of the 25 Algerian players bound for South Africa has finally been revealed by Rabah Saadane the Algerian national coach.
It is controversial to say the least. This list has raised some eyebrows in Algeria and among the fans of the Desert Foxes around the world. Why include seven new players with no international experience whatsoever when you only have two friendly matches (against Ireland and UAE) prior to the World Cup?
Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has named his preliminary squad for the World Cup.
The 25-man squad was made up largely of those players who contested January's African Nations Cup, where the Desert Hawks finished fourth.