World Cup - Algeria pip Egypt to World Cup place

Wed, 18 Nov 16:16:00 2009

Twenty years of hurt were put to bed as Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 to secure their place at the World Cup finals.

Algeria's Yahia celebrates his goal against Egypt with teammates during their World Cup qualifying playoff soccer match ... - 0

Egypt broke Algerian hearts in 1989 when pipping their bitter rivals to a place at Italia 90, but Algeria banished those memories thanks to Antar Yahia's stunning strike on 40 minutes.

Egypt dominated the ball in the second half, but could not find a way past an organised defence as Algeria booked their place at the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

It took jus 57 seconds for the touch paper to light, with Nadir Belhadj picking up a caution for a foul on Ahmed Al Muhamadi.

The challenge set the tone for the opening 15 minutes, with full-blooded tackles and great intensity leading to a lack of quality.

A mini-brawl took place on four minutes with Ahmed Hassan, who seemed to let the occasion get the better of him, clashing with a couple of Algerians which led to about 16 players getting involved in a pushing match.

Referee Eddy Maillet did well to restore calm and shortly afterwards Sayed Mowad forced a fine diving save from Fawzi Chaouchi.

Egypt looked suspect under the high ball and they got in a real tangle defending a free-kick on 15 minutes and it took a fine save from Essem El Hadary to keep the sides on level terms.

The Egyptians came into the game as the half wore on and Mohamed Aboutrika flashed a shot wide, shortly before Al Muhamadi shot low on goal - forcing a good save from Chaouchi.

Algeria were firmly on the back foot when they took the lead, with Egypt's frailties under the high ball in evidence again.

Hassan gave away a silly free-kick, the ball was dinked into the box and it was allowed to travel all the way to Yahia at the far post. He had plenty to do, but drove a fierce volley that crashed against the bar and over the line.

Egypt dominated the ball in the second half, as Algeria seemed content to play on the break, but chances were at a premium.

The best of the openings fell to Emad Meteab who turned in the box and unleashed a low shot which was superbly parried by Chaouchi.

Egypt threw men forward in the dying moments, but Algeria kept their discipline and the celebrations on the final whistle in Khartoum were quite amazing as Algeria booked their place at the World Cup finals.


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