Tag: Algeria

The 200% World Cup: Belgium vs Algeria – Live!

Football hipsters will be refilling their tankards with a favourite craft ale, neatly combing their beard and nervously smoothing down their lucky Keegan-era Hamburger SV shirt this afternoon, as the most extravagantly hyped dark horse team in World Cup history step into the fray. Belgium are the latest in a long line of international teams to be able to declare a golden generation of players, boasting European stars like Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard all looking to make a name for themselves on the global stage. However, the Red Devils are by no means reliant on a handful of superstar players....

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World Cup 2010: The United States Of America 1-0 Algeria

This match isn’t, as Gary Lineker insists twice, just for “you Americans and Algerians.” England’s struggles to date have turned this into a tight group where three teams need a win, so the natural choice for the neutral is surely the match with two of them. Such are the vagaries of the group that both sides are likely to still need the win right to the end, which could only help the entertainment value. They do. And it does. The BBC’s red button is very much the second team. We don’t get an on-screen clock until the 35th minute. Steve Bower is the newest commentator, and his inexperience isn’t, yet, offset by the throaty excitement he’s offered to moments of drama, mostly involving New Zealand, thus far. And co-commentator Martin Keown offers the considered perspective he showed every time Ruud Van Nistlerooy missed a penalty. And until today, every time a player does two things right in the same half, Keown tell us “Premiership managers will be looking at him” – even Nigerian keeper Victor Enyeama who, as Keown was gently reminded, played in the 2002 finals. We have to wait until 2.56 for the red button coverage to begin, which means we get another volley of Brian Blessed shouting “Cry God for Fabio, England and St. George” with a truly American sense of irony. For a while, Bowers...

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World Cup 2010: England 0-0 Algeria

It would appear that Wayne Rooney is of the opinion that the England football team (and, especially upon this evening, his performance in particular) is worthy of the undying support of the English people and, in particular, of those that have given up valuable holiday time and a fistful of cash that they may or may not be able to afford to travel to South Africa to watch their national team. That any of these people made actual, material sacrifices to be in Cape Town this evening has, presumably, never occurred to him. There are plenty of criticisms that can be levelled at England supporters, but to assert that they are not “football supporters” only serves to emphasise the unreality of the world in which the likes of Wayne Rooney live. To be frank, if Wayne Rooney doesn’t want the criticism that comes with a sub-standard performance (especially when he has performed so far below his capability, and at a time during which he is earning more money in a week than most people in England earn in three years – it’s a simplistic argument, but the fact that it is simplistic doesn’t make it any less true), he should probably retire. And Manchester United supporters reading this and chuckling should probably stop laughing now – if you think that he holds you in any less than contempt than...

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World Cup 2010: Algeria 0-1 Slovenia

I volunteered for this game. On paper it seemed a good idea to do. I’d seen Slovenia play Spain at Euro 2000, and Slovenia are some of the loudests fans I’ve ever come across. They only really have one song: “Kdor ne skače,ni Slovenc, hej, hej, hej”. And when they sing, they jump up and down in unison, and if you’re in the upper tier of a stadium with 10,000 Slovenians ten feet away for them, you get that a great atmosphere, with the slight sense of unease that the stadium is going to collapse.

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World Cup Tales: The Shame Of Gijon, 1982

Algeria make their first appearance in the World Cup finals since 1986 this year, and if they are looking for any more encouragement to perform than the prospect of playing on the world’s biggest stage, then the sense of injustice at their previous treatment by the competition could be enough to spur them on that little bit more. Algeria have previously qualified for two World Cup tournaments, but in one of those circumstances conspired against them to the extent that they may have been excused wondering whether they weren’t even wanted in the tournament in the first place. Was Algeria’s elimination from the 1982 World Cup down to “cheating” by their group rivals West Germany and Austria, though, or was the fundamental flaw in the timing of the final group matches? Group 2, the group that contained Algeria, West Germany, Austria and Chile, was held in the Spanish cities of Gijon and Oviedo and, as was the convention at the time, the Germans, as the seeded team, played all three of their matches at the same venue, Estadio El Molinón in Gijon, while the other three nations played their matches against each other at the smaller Estadio Carlos Tartiere in Oviedo. West Germany were the second favourites to win the tournament behind Brazil and it was the first time that Algeria had qualified for the finals. There had been...

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