Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Desert Foxes could produce surprise
by Paul Kennedy, December 4th, 2009 12:46PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[ALGERIA] Algeria was the last African team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, needing a hotly contested playoff game to defeat reigning African champion Egypt.

The Desert Foxes will be viewed as the weakest of the five African teams that went through qualifying, but England coach Fabio Capello, for one, says they could surprise. Algeria did just that in 1982, producing one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup.

Algeria is dominated by French-bred players, several of whom started their international careers with France at the youth level.

Antar Yahia, who began his international career with France, scored the only goal in the 1-0 playoff win over Egypt, a spectacular volley that decided one of the most intensely followed qualifiers ever. The tensions were stoked in large part by the proliferation of online postings reporting real or imagined violence by fans on both sides before and after Saturday's game in Cairo.

Algeria-Egypt Highlights:


The playoff game was played in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where Algerian and Egyptian fans came by the planeload. There were 15,000 police and security officers on hand -- one for every two fans.

The heavy security was ordered after trouble broke out when the Algerian team arrived in Cairo for the deciding group game and was attacked by Egyptian youths. After the Pharaohs scored a last-second goal to win 2-0 and force a playoff, Algerian fans smashed shop windows, hurled stones at police and set fire to several boats moored in the French city of Marseilles. Fans attacked Egyptian political and business interests in Algeria after the game.

Algeria first went to the World Cup in 1982 when it upset West Germany and was ultimately ousted when the Germans beat neighboring Austrians 1-0 -- a result that sent both teams through to the second group stage at Algeria's expense.

The current Algerian team is a beneficiary of FIFA's more liberal rules it introduced regarding the change of allegiance of national team players.

The Fennecs started eight French-born players, including Mourad Meghni and Hassan Yebda, who won the 2001 Under-17 World Cup with France.

Wednesday's victory in Khartoum touched off wild celebrations in Algerian communities across France. Indeed, Algeria's qualification generated much greater enthusiasm in France than did that of the Bleus, the French national team, which struggled to qualify.

ALGERIA ROSTER:
Goalkeepers
Nassim Ouserir (CR Belouizdad)
Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef)

Defenders
Madjid Bougherra (Rangers)
Anther Yahia (Bochum)
Rafik Halliche (Nacional Madeira)
Nadir Belhadj Nadir (Portsmouth)
Samir Zaoui (ASO Chlef)
Slimane Raho (ES Setif)
Reda Baabouche (MC Algiers)

Midfielders
Yazid Mansouri (Lorient)
Hassen Yebda (Portsmouth)
Karim Matmour (Borussia M'Gladbach)
Yassine Bezzaz Yassine (Strasbourg)
Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg)
Mourad Meghni (Lazio)
Hamer Bouazza (Blackpool)

Forwards
Rafik Saifi (Al Khor)
Kamel Ghilas (Hull City)
Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens)
Abdelkader Mohamed Ghezzal (Siena)



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Jones and Vanney are pivotal figures for midweek matches    
[MLS PREVIEW: Week 26] Two vital Eastern Conference games and a seemingly cushy road date for ...
Czech Republic-USA Gameday Guide    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY] The USA kicks off a new era when it faces the Czech Republic Wednesday ...
Four international friendlies to watch    
[DATEBOOK] FIFA has scrapped the August friendly, but international action returns early in September with games ...
Top scorer Gallardo joins residency program    
[USA UNDER-17 MEN] There are plenty of changes in the U.S. under-17 residency program as nine ...
Trio joins team at Buenos Aires training camp    
[USA UNDER-20 MEN] U.S. under-20 men's national team head coach Tab Ramos brought in Columbus Crew ...
Scorpions unveil plans for Toyota Field expansion    
[MLS EXPANSION] The NASL's San Antonio Scorpions released plans for doubling the capacity of Toyota Field, ...
Keane nutmegs and scores with sweet chip    
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Robbie Keane nutmegged a defender then chipped the goalkeeper ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, whoever plays in MLS, the foreign guys, they all go. But ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"That he's made some statements that he's not content, sees it differently, that's legitimate and that's ...
Regional championship kicks off in Washington    
[COPA CENTROAMERICANA] Such is the drawing power of Central American teams that Uncaf, the governing body ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives