In the end, Algeria were unable to avenge what was dubbed the ‘Disgrace of Gijon‘ against West Germany in 1982 last night, but they definitely proved that they weren’t simply in Brazil for a ride.
Against a German side dubbed one of the most flamboyant at the tournament so far, the North African side put up an incredible fight to hold them up to make it 0-0 till the end. In Joachim Low’s own words, it was a victory of ‘willpower’, adding that it was always going to be impossible for Germany to play “well all the time.”
The match ended 2-1 in extra time, in the Germans’ favour, but not after some marvellous attacking skill from the Algerians. You only need to look at the statistics of Maneul Neuer, who made a total of 57 saves, half of which was outside the penalty box. He cleared the ball frequently with his feet – and even his head – given the lack of a sweeper from the German side.
Halilhodzic said before the game that “(My players) will do everything to get their revenge,” but it is clear that this Algerian side (with 17 players born in France) are proving to be the teams to watch in future.