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Analysis Of The Rivals Part 2: Algeria

May 28, 2010 - Ireland - Football - Republic of Ireland v Algeria International Friendly - RDS Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland - 28/5/10..Algeria fans with flares during the game.

Algeria’s path to South Africa was nothing short of explosive. Their savage rivalry with Egypt produced incredible displays of passion and shocking, barbaric violence. England’s second group opponents lost 2-0 to their bitter rivals in their last qualifying match, after seething Egyptian fans pelted the Algerian’s team bus with missiles. Miraculously enough, Egypt’s victory meant that both sides finished qualifying with identical records at the top of Group C. Algeria and Egypt would settle their differences in a play-off at in Omdurman, Sudan on 18th November 2009.

The match was a cagey affair played with a hostile atmosphere in both the stands and on the pitch. Numerous scuffles took place and the tension was heightened even more so by hordes of police squads surrounding the pitch, keeping a watchful eye on the boisterous crowd. Despite the scrappy nature of the contest, the only goal of the game was scored with optimum class and precision. A looped, cross field ball from Wolfsburg’s Karim Ziani was volleyed home from an acute angle in breathtaking fashion by VfL Bochum’s Anatar Yahia.

The bloodthirsty feud meant there were few handshakes between opponents after Algeria stubbornly held on to their 1-0 lead. Algeria’s fans and players celebrated exuberantly, milking the occasion in their enemy’s misery. Flares were ignited in the stands and fans, staff and substitutes flocked onto the pitch like wild animals being released from a cage. Players were hoisted onto the shoulders of fans and heroic goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi sat atop his goal, shaking the crossbar with manic fist pumping and gesticulations in front of his team’s crazed fans.

Egypt gained some form of revenge by thrashing The Desert Foxes 4-0 in the 2010 African Cup of Nations final. Rabah Saadane’s side were unable to cope with the seven time African champion’s creativity and free flowing football through midfield. Fabio Capello should also take note of Algeria’s ill discipline. The red mist flowed as Saadane’s men had three men sent off in a match which saw numerous horror tackles executed with reckless abandon.

The problem for England will be what to expect from Algeria. Reaching the African Cup of Nations was an unpredictable road for the Algerians after losing to International flyweights Malawi 3-0 and then fighting past the formidable Ivorians. Algeria are capable of monumental collapses as seen the African Cup of Nations final. The outcome usually depends on the fragile mentality of the two time World Cup participants.

England can presume their African opponents will line up in a 4-4-2 formation with 35 year old veteran Rafik Saifi supporting Abdelkader Ghezzal in attack. South Africa 2010 could be Saifi’s last chance to shine on the big stage. The enigmatic Al Khor man has a big reputation in his home land was named in the best 11 line-up for the 2002 African Cup of Nations in Mali. Capello’s full-backs will know all about Portsmouth’s Nadir Belhadj’s willing running and determination. Belhadj’s International team-mate Hassan Yebda also played for Portsmouth last season and scored a winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The side ranked 30 in the world should pose problems for USA and Slovenia in Group C. At their best, they are fast at breaking and solid in holding leads. However, when on the back foot, it is a different story. Heads will drop and shin pads will get a real test of durability. Algeria lack World Cup pedigree and renowned names in their ranks, but there is always one underdog from Africa who can shock the world. Remember Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002? Look out England.

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  1. sam

    June 15, 2010 at 4:19 am

    let’s talk about Algeria Vs England on next friday’s match!!!!

    we will win 01-0 to my opinion and the English will never forget the party!!!

  2. Tahraoui Ramdane

    June 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Mr. Alistair Hendrie,
    The language you used in your article stinks. I felt sorry for you, because though you belong to a great nation of civilization and tolerance like the United Kingdom, yet you have unfortunately been deprived from any civility and decency. How would on earth you call Jubilant Algerians who were celibrating in the most civilized way the qualification of their dear national country to the finals as animals and savage. Sorry to say, but you are either ignorant or sick.

  3. Three Lions

    June 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Bloody YANKS!


    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      And some people wonder why I despise the Three Lions more than any national team? As an American who cares deeply about the growth of the game in our country and convincing fans of the sport to subscribe to the domestic game, I loathe commentary like what we see above from “Three Lions.”

  4. bhop

    June 7, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Holly sh*t i cant believe that u actually described them as animals !!!
    Do i smell racism ??

  5. Three Lions

    June 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    They are in fact animals that disrespect the game. Same with all these Yanks that try and Americanize the game and destroy our strongest clubs. The takeovers of Man U and Liverpool are an American conspiracy to kill football and promote their stinking games like Baseball and Basketball on the world.

    • meto266

      June 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      can you talk about YOUR animals than … you showed the right way for respect with your hooligans…”disrespect the game”…hahaha…whose talking..your supporters were banned in europe for a good time…

      • Three Lions

        June 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

        We were banned in Europe because at the time English clubs won everything! UEFA led by a German President threw us out and sided with the Italians who have more ultras and violence at games than we have ever had. I cannot believe we have this discussion on EPL Talk where Gaffer stood up to the Yank Cohen and his lies about Hillsborough!

        You meto do not know football.


        • meto

          June 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

          If being racist and comparing fans with animal is what you call football than yes I definitely don’t know your definition of football…and once again what’s hooligan mean and where is it coming from ?

  6. meto

    June 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    You must be an animal yourself to compare Algerians proud supporters to animals…your analyse is full of rubbish and your one sided views of events is just unprofessional and let me just remind you that hooligan is a british word…

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