World Cup 2014: Democratic Republic of Korea v Algeria

KOR 2 – 4 ALG: Algeria produced one of the best team performances in the World Cup thus far in Porto Alegre with a commanding victory over South Korea to give them a fantastic chance of qualifying from Group H. This was the Algerians first win in a World Cup since 1982, which was their first appearance at the tournament. They have failed to score in their last two World Cup campaigns (in 1986 and 2010) and so this is a remarkable achievement. The key was their pressing which was consistent and ruthless. The South Koreans were on the back foot from the word go and never really raised their level of performance to affect the result. A determined Algeria took the lead when Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani latched on to a long Feghouli pass to toe poke the ball past the helpless South Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong. He looked terribly unassured all night and when he got nowhere near an Algerian corner two minutes later giant centre back Rafik Halliche fired a header past him to make it two. Abdelmoumene Djabou added another for Algeria after Slimani capitalised on some poor defending after a long ball forward. After the break South Korea finally mustered a decent attack and young Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-Min slid the ball under M’Bohli to score with South Korea’s first shot on goal. A wonderful team move again involving creative Valencia midfielder Sofiane Feghouli saw Yacine Brahimi restore Algeria’s there goal cushion in style. South Korea added a consolation goal to set up a nery last fifteen minutes but Algeria’s lead was never really challenged and they emerge deservedly victorious. All credit to Algeria and their coach Vahid Halilhodžić. With their exciting young talents such as Slimani and Feghouli they have much to look forward to in future tournaments. They have a very winnable last game against Russia in Curitiba and a point may be enough to send them through to the last sixteen. South Korea were shocking at the back and I can only see Belgium punishing such frailties to end their tournament in the final game of the group.

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