• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Algeria stay alive with 4-2

 

Group Match

Group H, Match 4

Algeria moved to within touching distance of reaching the last-16 of the World Cup for the first time after beating South Korea 4-2 in a six-goal thriller in Porto Alegre, reports Goal.com.

Vahid Halilhodzic's men ran riot in the opening 45 minutes as the South Korea defence was found wanting time and again.

Islam Slimani opened the scoring midway through the opening period by lifting the ball over goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong from a long-range pass, before Rafik Halliche doubled the advantage and Abdelmoumene Djabou made it three.

Son Heung-min stopped the rot by slotting the ball between the legs of Rais M'Bolhi to reduce the deficit just after the interval, but it proved to be brief respite for the 2002 World Cup co-hosts.

Yacine Brahimi appeared to put the result beyond doubt in the 62nd minute, but a Koo Ja-cheol strike 10 minutes later kept the match alive as a contest.

However, Korea were unable to set up a nervy end to the game as Algeria went two points clear of Russia in second place in Group H with one game left to play.

Algeria - a team who failed to score a single goal in South Africa in 2010 - become the first African nation to score four goals in a World Cup fixture.

While South Korea were unchanged from their 1-1 opening draw with Russia, Halilhodzic made five changes to the Algeria side that started the 2-1 defeat to Belgium.

Sofiane Feghouli, who scored from the spot in Algeria's curtain-raiser, blasted over on the turn in the opening two minutes before Brahimi joined him in clearing the crossbar following a goalmouth scramble moments later.

Algeria had appeals for a penalty turned down in the build-up to Brahimi's effort, after Feghouli appeared to be felled by Kim Young-gwon, but the men from north Africa continued to look the more threatening.

Slimani – one of those brought into the starting XI - headed narrowly wide of the left-hand post from a corner 10 minutes in, and the Sporting forward should have done better when he failed to direct the ball goalwards from a delightful Aissa Mandi cross.

But the 26-year-old justified his selection in the 26th minute when he latched onto a Carl Medjani punt from the back to clip the ball over Jung, who was in no man's land as Algeria doubled their advantage less than two minutes later.

Halliche was given too much space by the Korean defence and rose highest to power home a thunderous header from a Djabou corner and punish the flapping Jung.

South Korea's vulnerable backline was exposed once more, seven minutes before the break, as Djabou had the time to slot into the bottom right-hand corner as puzzled defenders stared at each other blankly.

Half-time will have been welcomed by the Asian nation, for whom the match was turning into a horror show, but Hong Myung-bo's men emerged for the second 45 minutes with renewed energy.

And they pulled one back in the 50th minute. Son controlled the ball somewhat fortuitously in the penalty area after it bounced off his back before firing between the legs of Algeria keeper M'Bolhi, who then had to be alert to tip over a long-range effort from Ki Sung-yueng.

Brahimi exchanged passes brilliantly with Slimani and buried Algeria's historic fourth just after the hour mark, but captain Koo bundled home from a Lee Keun-ho cross to keep South Korea's hopes alive.

The two-goal advantage was untroubled for the remainder of the encounter,though, as Algeria clung on for their first World Cup win since 1982.

Man of the Match: I Slimani (ALG)

Match Commentary - as it happened

That result means that Algeria need merely a point against Russia to qualify for the knockout stages, while South Korea still have a chance of qualification, they're certainly not in the driving seat.

FULL TIME! Algeria win at the World Cup for the first time in over three decades, with a 4-2 win over South Korea in Porto Alegre. Goals from Slimani, Brahimi, Halliche and Djabou were enough for Halilhodzic's men, despite goals from Son and Koo making the second half quite a nervy affair.

90` + 3` South Korea whip in a corner delivery, but M'Bolhi claims and smothers the ball on the ground. Hong's men throw another long ball into the box, which is set back to Son by Ji. Medjani bundles the Leverkusen man to the ground, but the referee opts not to give a penalty!

90` + 1` We're into four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half, with South Korea needing two goals to keep their qualification hopes alive.

90` We're into the dying embers of the game, with Algeria content to go long and clear to the flanks whenever they can. It's a case of getting the back four some respite and preventing South Korean service from reaching the head of Shin-Wook.

89` Substitution: Madjid Bougherra Belkalem Essaid

88` Koo fires wide of the far post from the edge of the penalty area, as Hong's men continue to try and force the issue. Another substitute is set to come into the fray for Algeria, as Halilhodzic tries to run down the clock and spoil South Korea's momentum somewhat.

87` Shin-Wook earns a free-kick, 20 yards from goal, as South Korea force themselves forward yet again. Son takes, but cannons his effort into the wall - before seeing another effort blocked moments later.

86` Ghilas exchanges a one-two before bursting into the penalty area, but the through ball into his path is slightly heavy. Jung is able to come out quickly and smother the loose ball. Not long left for Algeria to keep South Korea at bay now.

85` A diagonal ball bobbles through to Lee on the right hand side, after a poor attempt at a clearance from Mesbah. The midfielder snatches at his half-volleyed attempt, lashing it high and wide of the target. M'Bolhi presumably breathes a sigh of relief.

83` Slimani goes down, meaning that there is a stoppage of play for the striker to receive some treatment. He's helped onto the stretcher by a couple of South Korea players, who are keen to get the game back underway as soon as possible.

81` Less than ten minutes to go and South Korea continue to maintain their levels of urgency. Yoon and Lee are racing forward at every opportunity, with the ball pumped in towards Shin-Wook whenever possible.

79` GHILAS HEADS OVER! The substitute is found by a back post cross by Mesbah, but can only divert the ball high and wide of the target! It was an excellent delivery, Ghilas will be ruing the fact he couldn't add a finish to match.

78` Substitution: Kook-Young Han out, Dong-Won Ji in.

77` Substitution: Yacine Brahimi out, Lacen in.

77` Brahimi is replaced by Lacen, who has ran himself into the ground this evening. Fresh legs for Algeria, who won't be taking any chances at this point in the game, shown by their reluctance to commit too many men forward. It won't be long until they head for the corner flags, I imagine!

76` The home crowd are jeering South Korea whenever they have the ball, it appears that the neutrals are siding with Algeria at the moment. Not long is left for Hong's men to grab two goals, which would give them their minimum requirement of a lone point.

74` Around 15 minutes to go and South Korea have their tails up once again! M'Bolhi is forced to palm a cross-cum-shot behind for a corner, which is then headed wide by Kim! Hong's men aren't prepared to give up whatsoever, they'll fight until the death!

73` Substitution: Abdelmoumene Djabou out, Nabil Ghilas in.

72` Assist Keun-Ho Lee

72` Goal Koo Ja-Cheol

72` GOOOOOOOOOAL! KOO NETS KOREA'S SECOND! Son sees a shot blocked from close-range, before Lee squares a pass for his captain to slot home! Ghilas is being warmed up on the sidelines for Algeria, as Halilhodzic looks to fresh things up on the field. Protecting his key players for their next important clash might be the pragmatic thing to do, but South Korea shouldn't be underestimated!

70` Time is slowly running out for South Korea, who really need to take some points from this game to keep their qualifying hopes alive. Given Hong's body language on the bench, however, it appears that the current scoreline might be a bridge too far.

69` Yellow Card Kook-Young Han

68` Algeria are once again happy to sit back deep in their own half, waiting for opportunities to break. Shin-Wook tries to nod a long ball down to Son, but the Leverkusen man can't outmuscle Halliche, who shields the ball back to M'Bolhi.

67` Yellow Card Madjid Bougherra

66` South Korea were looking likely to grab their second goal of the game, but now find themselves back to square one. Algeria have been breaking effectively and tearing apart the rather confused central defensive pairing of Kim and Hong throughout. There are still more goals in this one!

64` Substitution: Chung-Yong Lee out, Keun-Ho Lee in.

64` Algeria look to be in control once again, with South Korea having their momentum snatched away by that Brahimi sucker-punch. This is the first time that an African nation has netted four goals in one World Cup game, with Algeria certainly not being touted to be the inaugural side to do so!

62` Assist Sofiane Feghouli

62` Goal Yacine Brahimi

GOOOOOOOOOAL! BRAHIMI PUTS THE GAME SEEMINGLY BEYOND DOUBT! The attacking midfielder exchanges possession with Slimani on the edge of the box, before sliding a finish between Jung's legs and into the back of the net!

62` Less than half an hour to go, but South Korea can take a lot of positives from how they've come out of the dressing room in the second half. They've pressed and harried well, forcing Algeria to spend long portions of the game in their own half.

60` WHAT A SAVE BY M'BOLHI! The Algerian goalkeeper is at full stretch to acrobatically tip a Ki thunderbolt over the crossbar, as the South Korea midfielder let fly with a ferocious effort from range! That was heading for the top corner and probably would have ripped a hole in the net!

59` South Korea continue to enjoy sustained pressure, with the atmosphere in Porto Alegre dulling somewhat. Shin-Wook is set to provide much more of a physical presence inside the Algerian penalty area, with his huge frame giving Halliche and Bougherra something else to think about.

57` Substitution: Chu-Young Park out, Shin-Wook Kim in.

57` Mandi is alert to the danger and makes a very important clearance off the goal-line! South Korea take a free-kick early, with a crafty shot on goal curling towards the bottom left corner. Algeria's right-back, fortunately for them, doesn't switch off and hoofs clear.

56` Ki stands up a cross to the back post, but M'Bolhi is quick off his line to punch away the Swansea midfielder's delivery. A couple of players are warming up on the sideline, with the physical presence of Shin-Wook about to be introduced by Hong.

55` Ten minutes have passed in the second half, with South Korea showing something of a resurgence. Son's goal has given them newfound belief, with Algeria struggling to retain possession or defend particularly staunchly. A few nerves for the leaders, perhaps.

54` Yellow Card Yong Lee

53` Koo is picked out at the near post by an early cross, but can only nod the ball wide of the near post. The linesman's flag was raised anyhow, but the midfielder really should have been doing better from ten yards out.

52` Mandi is brought down by an innocuous challenge by Son to earn a free-kick, which Brahimi delivers from the right hand side. The Granada man whips in a cross, which is met at its highest point by Halliche, but Jung is able to catch the header with ease.

50` Assist Sung-Yong Ki

50` Goal Heung-Min Son

50` GOOOOOOOOOAL! SON GRABS A GOAL FOR SOUTH KOREA! A long pass is brought down in a rather unorthodox way by the Leverkusen man, who then shifts the ball onto his left foot and tucks it between M'Bolhi's legs and into the back of the net!

49` Two rushed clearances from Algeria, as South Korea look to force the issue in an attempt to force their way back into this contest. They're looking fairly sharp and Algeria might be right to start worrying.

47` Son races past two challenges, before trying to poke a through ball into the path of Park Chu-Young, but sees his attempt intercepted. Algeria start the second half with plenty of men behind the ball, as Halilhodzic's side try and keep things tight early on.

46` The match is back underway in the second half, with South Korea having a veritable mountain to climb in the form of Algeria's three goals. Hong might need to dip into his substitutes' bench, which bore fruit against Russia in his side's first match.

Algeria have been hard in the tackle, organised in their shape and pressing, leading to M'Bolhi not having a save to make. They've broken well when given the chance, while frustrating South Korea and suffocating Son rather effectively. Be sure to stick around for the second half in ten minutes time, as Algeria look to take another step towards the knockout stages.

HALF TIME! The referee calls time on a very efficient 45 minutes from Algeria, who are leading South Korea 3-0. Goals from Slimani, Halliche and Djabou have Halilhodzic's side in a very comfortable position, leaving Hong with plenty to mull over at the interval.

45` + 1` This is the first of two minutes of first half stoppage time. Misplaced passes continue to add to a very frustrating opening 45 minutes for South Korea.

45` Algeria continue to hold the ball, forcing South Korea into plenty of unnecessary chasing. As this game wears on, the latter's legs might just start to get a little bit tired. Halilhodzic will be keen for his side to continue their good work in the second half, this is a side which was resoundingly beaten 4-0 by Ghana recently, after all.

43` Another free-kick is floated into the penalty area for Algeria, but Mandi can only divert the ball onto the head of a defender - earning his side another corner. Slimani gets up well but nods his effort high and wide.

42` Mesbah whips in an early cross from deep on the left, aiming for Slimani, but the left-back's cross arrows directly out of play. Less than five minutes until half-time, with Algeria not wanting to give their opposition any encouragement through getting back into this contest.

40` Lee is picked out on the right hand side, before having possession robbed from him by Mesbah. South Korea are having no luck against this very committed Algerian performance. Halilhodzic has his charges well organised and up for this match.

38` Assist Slimani islam

38` Goal Abdelmoumene Djabou

GOOOOOOOOOOAL! ALGERIA MAKE IT THREE THROUGH DJABOU! The usually goal shy nation are running riot in the first half! South Korea's two central defenders are taken out of the game by an intelligent cut-back from Slimani, before his teammate calmly slots beyond Jung and into the bottom right corner from 12 yards!

37` Koo puts in an important header to clear an Algeria corner, with Brahimi picking up the pieces. The Granada man turns his marker, before bursting into the box and attempting another piece of skill. He loses his footing and slips - the referee isn't interesting in giving a penalty.

36` Around ten minutes until the interval and the Algerian fans are jubilant, cheering their side as they keep hold of the ball. South Korea are really struggling and it appears that they need the aid of a goalkeeping error to get on the scoresheet tonight too.

34` South Korea are seeing more of the ball, but Algeria's shape is solid and forcing Hong's men back across the field or towards their own goal. It appears that South Korea are far happier when they're given gaps to exploit and break into - these organised opposition lines are a real hindrance to their offensive ideas.

32` Lee attempts to squeeze a cross in towards the near post, but is denied by Halliche. Algeria haven't looked troubled and their midfield shield of Bentaleb and Medjani is doing its job and ensuring that the back four aren't too exposed. M'Bolhi punches away a South Korea corner rather nervously.

31` Slimani goes down injured in the centre circle, holding his side in pain. Algeria's fans won't want to see their goalscorer leave the field, but they're somewhat preoccupied with their wild celebrations. South Korea have it all to do if they are to get any points from this game.

29` Jung was called into action, after making a great punch earlier in the game, but failed to impress on that occasion as Halliche beat him to the corner delivery! The South Korea goalkeeper hasn't looked the most solid and his side will need a much better showing from him if they are to turn this contest around.

28` Assist Abdelmoumene Djabou

28` Goal Rafik Halliche

28` GOOOOOOOOOAL! HALLICHE HEADS HOME TO DOUBLE ALGERIA'S ADVANTAGE! Kim does well to get a slight deflection on a Brahimi effort, leading to the ball bobbling past the far post and behind for a corner. It's whipped into the penalty area, with the central defender rising brilliantly to thump home a thunderous header!

26` Assist Carl Medjani

26` Goal Slimani islam

26` GOOOOOOOOOAL! SLIMANI MAKES IT 1-0 TO ALGERIA! The 26-year-old forward is set through on goal by an excellent long pass, before bustling his way into the penalty area and lifting an intelligent finish over the onrushing Jung! Medjani is the man who picks out the excellent assist!

25` A few sloppy passes from either side stop respective attacks in their tracks, as both outfits appear happier for the other team to have possession to allow them to counter. Feghouli slips a lofted through ball into the path of Slimani, but the lone striker lashes over the bar from an offside position.

23` It has been an exciting opening 20 minutes or so, but there is certainly a lack of cutting edge or real quality in this fixture. Tackles and fouls are flying in within the midfield third, meaning that it has been hard for many encouraging passages of play to occur.

21` BIG CHANCE FOR SLIMANI! The lone striker is picked out by a fantastic early cross by Mandi, but his first touch lets him down! A defender in his path perhaps obstructed his vision somewhat, meaning that Slimani unsuspectingly sees the delivery cannon off his ankle and into the air! His manager thinks he should be converting that!

19` Djabou tries his luck with a rasping left-footed half-volley, but Jung is happy to watch the ball wide of his near post. Algeria aren't managing to enjoy any sustained pressure, despite coming out of the traps the stronger of the two.

18` A few niggling challenges from Algeria earn several free-kicks for South Korea, with Halilhodzic's players becoming rather frustrated. As of yet, dead ball situations haven't posed anything in the way of danger to either side, however.

16` South Korea are growing into the game, with Son their main threat. The Leverkusen man is keen for everything to go through him, whether it involves a slaloming dribble or a smart switch of play. Algeria still look comfortable, as both goalkeepers remain untested.

14` Son wins a corner for his side after weaving past three defenders brilliantly, which Ki delivers. M'Bolhi is eager to come off his line and punch the ball away at the near post, which he does effectively.

12` Ki whips a free-kick into the penalty area, but Halliche gets up well to head clear. The loose ball is claimed by South Korea, but another delivery into the danger area is once again hoofed away. Hong's side are struggling to penetrate the Algerian lines at the moment.

11` Good defensive recovery from Bougherra! The former Rangers man gives away possession to Son needlessly, but works back towards his own byeline to track his marker, before stepping across the Leverkusen man and shielding the ball out of play for a goal kick.

9` SIDE NETTING FOR SLIMANI! Another corner is whipped in towards the back post for Algeria, with Slimani rising above Yoon and nodding an attempt just wide of the upright. Jung was worried, but fortunately for him the striker's effort was narrowly off target and nestles in the side netting.

7` A free-kick is flighted in from the left hand side from Algeria, but Bentaleb's attempted shot is deflected behind for the first corner of the afternoon. It's dealt with well by Ki, who rises highest to head clear.

6` Slimani also manages to get in behind Hong, but the central defender makes an important header to prevent the Algeria striker from racing through on goal. An interesting start to proceedings, with South Korea suffering from the majority of early pressure.

4` SLIMANI AND BRAHIMI GO CLOSE! Algeria ask for a penalty, but the referee isn't interested! Slimani sees a close-range effort blocked, with Kim sliding dangerously into Feghouli as the Valencia man tries to control the loose ball. Brahimi fires over moments later, as Halilhodzic's side start the better of the two outfits.

3` A win for South Korea would see Algeria eliminated in the group stages, while also propelling Hong's side merely a point away from qualifying for the knockout stages. Algeria enjoy early possession, with their opposition more than happy to sit back and absorb pressure - they know they can break effectively.

2` This promises to be interesting from the off, as Algeria are geared towards staunch defending, while South Korea are more than happy to try and keep two strikers up top at all times. The latter's game against Russia showed that they have some pedigree at this level. Feghouli fires wide on the turn from 12 yards, as Halilhodzic's men try and start brightly.

1` The match is underway in the first half! Two unpredictable teams with plenty to fight for, should result in a very interesting contest. South Korea are in red and blue, while Algeria are in their customary green and white. Three points are required to keep qualification hopes alive!

Algeria substitutes: Mohamed, Ghoulam, Belkalem, Yebda, Lacen, Ghilas, Soudani, Zemmamouche, Cadamuro, Taider, Mahrez, Mostefa.

Algeria starting line-up: M'Bolhi; Mandi, Bougherra, Halliche, Mesbah; Medjani, Bentaleb; Feghouli, Brahimi, Djabou; Slimani.

South Korea substitutes: Chang-Soo Kim, Kwak, Hwang, Bo-Kyung Kim, Ha, Keun-Ho Lee, Jong-Woo Park, Shin-Wook Kim, Ji, Seung-Gyu Kim, Joo-Ho Park, Beom-Young Lee.

South Korea starting line-up: Jung; Yong, Hong, Kim, Yoon; Ki, Han, Lee, Koo; Park, Son.

TEAM NEWS: Qualification topscorer Slimani comes into the side up top for Algeria, with Granada's Brahimi deployed on the left flank - the Spain-based winger has proven to be quite a handful domestically this season. Mandi and Mesbah are named in defence in place of Mahrez and Mostefa, while Medjani retains his place.

TEAM NEWS: Hong names an unchanged starting eleven for this evening's clash, despite lacking firepower against Russia. Bayer Leverkusen's Heung-Min Son leads the line once again, with Arsenal's Chu-Young Park accompanying the talented forward. Lee Keun-Ho stays on the bench despite picking up a rather fortunate goal against Capello's outfit.

Commentary & Report: Goal dot com

Published: 1:37 am Monday, June 23, 2014

Last modified: 10:09 pm Monday, June 23, 2014

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