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World Cup 2014
 

Algeria 1 Russia 1: Highlights, key battles and what the result means

Published on Jun 27, 2014 7:00 AM
 

Algeria hung on to become the 16th and final team to advance into the knockout stages, when they held Russia to a 1-1 draw in Curitiba.

The result kept the African side in second spot in Group H, as they pipped both Russia and South Korea to the final last-16 spot.

Highlights

- It had seemed as if Russia would overtake Algeria and go through, when Alexander Kokorin put them in the lead in the sixth minute with a superb, thumping header.

- However, the match swung in Algeria's favour in the 60th minute, when Islam Slimani leapt high to head home a free kick from the left flank.

- The Algerians endured some tense final moments, before breaking out in joyous celebrations as they advanced to the last-16.

Key battles

- Russia's wing play is instrumental to their success, but Algeria full-backs Aissa Mandi and Djamel Mesbah are quick and mobile to counter the likes of Aleksandr Samedov and Dmitri Kombarov.

They found some degree of success in stifling the wingers, restricting the Russians to just the lone early goal and setting the stage up for their second-half heroics.

Man of the Match

In years to come, Algeria will remember Slimani as the man who scored the goal that allowed them to advance past the group stage for the first time in their history.

The Sporting Lisbon forward had only two attempts on goal, but took his one clear chance well to seal the vital draw for Algeria.

What the result means

Unfancied Algeria made it past the group stage, finishing second in Group H largely on account of their 4-2 victory of Japan. Against Russia, they were resolute and showed plenty of spirit in finding the equaliser and holding off the European side. They will face Germany next in the round of 16.

For Russia, it was a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign, which began on the wrong note with goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev's howler and never really recovered. It's back to drawing board, ahead of their hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

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