[ALGERIA] U.S. opponent Algeria's final preparations for the World Cup got off to a miserable start as the Desert Foxes fell to Ireland, 3-0, in Dublin on Friday. Poor defending -- a problem this year for the Algerians -- continued in the absence of star Madjid Bougherra in the middle of the backline.
Paul Green put Ireland ahead in the 31st minute, and Robbie Keane added goals in the 52nd and 85th minutes, both aided by defensive errors.
Goalie Fawzi Chaouchi's weak punch went straight to Keane on the second goal, and left back Djamel Mesbah fouled him for a penalty kick he converted for the third goal.
“They were superior to us and deserve a place in the World Cup,” Rabah Saadane said of Ireland, which was edged by France in a controversial playoff series for a berth at the World Cup.
Bougherra, who plays for Scottish champion Rangers, has been out with a calf injury.
Also out on the backline was Antar Yahia, whose goal against Egypt earned Algeria its place at the World Cup.
Mesbah was one of three uncapped players to play for Algeria for the first time along with right back Habib Ballaid and center back Adlene Guedioura.
Algeria -- Chaouchi (Mbolhi, 67), Guedioura, Ballaid, Halliche, Mesbah, Mansouri (Kadir, 67), Lacen, Belhadj (Boudebouz, 67), Ziani, Djebbour (Saifi, 58), Ghezzal (Abdoun, 77).