Halilhodzic calls on Algeria to 'make history'

The North African side are on the verge of reaching the World Cup knockouts for the first time but their coach is wary of the strengths of Russia
Vahid Halilhodzic has challenged his Algeria players to "make history" when they take on Russia in Thursday's Group H crunch clash at Arena da Baixada.

The North Africans know that a victory will guarantee them a place in the second round of a World Cup for the first time in their footballing history, while a draw might also be sufficient.

Opponents Russia know nothing less than a win can secure their own place in the round of 16, but Halilhodzic is calling on his players to show their talent on the pitch once again.

"My feeling is that at this moment we can make history," he told reporters at a pre-match press conference. "We want to look for qualification against a great team like Russia.

"I think is going to be the most important match for Algeria [in the country's history]. We spoke a lot about the Algerian generation of 1982 that had great victories [over West Germany and Chile] but unfortunately got no further.

"We have great players with technical advantages and we can show you our talent on the pitch. We will play the match with a lot of determination. We have to attack and defend well, and it's necesary to abandon our worries."

Halilhodzic also took the opportunity to warn his players of the dangers that Russia - with their World Cup campaign on the line - will pose.

"I watched all of their qualification matches and their coach is one of the best of the world," he insisted.

"They deserve everything, they dominate matches, they have efficiency.

"Russia has more experience than us. They are well prepared, they have fast players, quick, good technicians and a good block, everywhere in attack and defence. It's a team of good qualities."