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Posted by Dine Lahcen on 06/19/2010

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.

England, weighed down by their favourites’ tag and the pressure that goes with it, had no answer to Algeria’s great tactical and skilful display which forced an England side to dig deep to get a draw and to avoid bigger embarrassment. At the end of the match, England left the pitch with their heads down, Rooney even venting his frustrations on camera and taking a dig at their own supporters who were booing them.

England :
James, Johnson, Cole, Terry, Carragher, Gerrard, Lampard, Barry (Crouch 84'), Lennon (Wright Phillips 63'), Heskey (Defoe 74'), Rooney
Coach : Capello

Algeria :
M’bolhi, Bougherra, Yahia, Halliche, Lacen, Yebda (Mesbah 88'), Belhadj, Kadir, Boudebouz (Abdoun 74'), Ziani (Guedioura 81'), Matmour
Coach : Saâdane

Saadane decided to give third choice goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi his first cap as Chaouchi was injured. Mbolhi did his best to keep a clean sheet and showed that he is a great goalkeeper for the future. The Algerian defenders kept the England forwards at bay. Bougherra, Halliche, Yahia and Belhadj never allowed Rooney or Heskey and their teammates a sniff at goal. Well, almost never.

In midfield, Lacen,Yebda, Kadir and Ziani kept possession and starved Gerrard, Lampard and Barry of the ball. The Algerian team grew in confidence in the first few minutes of the match and kept controlling the ball and the game. In front, twenty-year old Boudebouz and Matmour kept England’s defence busy and Carragher had to resort to fouls to stop them. Algeria was the better side for a great part of the game.

Algeria kept their shape throughout the game, passing the ball around and working hard as a compact unit. Technically and tactically, Algeria appeared superior to England. In the stands, the English supporters were getting frustrated with the performance of their players and their lack of enterprise. At the end of the match, they turned against them and started booing them.

The England players were soon headed for the changing rooms where a stern talk by Fabio Capello was awaiting them. And a snack of humble pie too.


Posted by Godwin on 06/19/2010

Yeah.No team came to SA to joke and fit England and the rest think other teams will lay flat and let them pass,they've made the biggest mistake of their lives.

Posted by Sebastijan Pogorevc on 06/20/2010

Nice match, Algeria! I even wrote a whole blog about it. It's true, you have been at least equal to England in any perspective. I really didn't expect it.
Good luck against USA! Algeria and Slovenia can still both qualify and show their true quality!

Posted by dine lahcen on 06/21/2010

Yeah Sebastijan! I have read your blog about the Algera-England match. Great stuff! Mathematically everything is possible going into the third and last round of the group matches. Who knows? Slovenia and Algeria as the minnows of the group still have their chances. Slovenia more so than others. Good luck!

Posted by tom on 06/24/2010

as much i love England that game for us was shocking we should of done a lot better algeria got lucky now we are through the group stages englang shlould play great if not there something wronge

Posted by spencer on 06/25/2010

Tom, Algeria wasn't lucky, they played better than England and if there was a team that deserved to walk away with the 3 points it was Algeria. I don't honestly see England beating Germany. I am afraid it's the end of the road for England.

Posted by Bristol Airport Hotels on 04/19/2012

Looking forward to reading more. Great blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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