Vahid Halilhodzic continues his fine run in his short time at the head of the Fennecs who took a 2-0 halftime lead and never looked back in their 2014 World Cup qualifying opener
Two headers from Arbi Hilel Soudani and goals from Sofiene Feghouli and Islam Slimani gave the Fennecs a logical 4-0 win over struggling Rwanda at the Mustapha Tchaker stadium in Blida on Saturday.
With their fans in full voice, Algeria began the match in complete control and exerted a great deal of pressure on the visiting Rwandans while varying attack points from the wings to through the centre. Rafik Djebbour had a penalty claim turned down by the match referee 10 minutes into the game and Ismael Bouzid put a diving header over the crossbar seconds later as the Fennecs threatened.
Rwanda struggled to respond to the locals’ determination and could only muster a few free kick chances and long distance shots that were all wasted, especially by Olivier Karakezi. Algeria eventually got off the mark, albeit with help from the opposing goalkeeper, Claude Ndoli, who hit an onrushing Feghouli with his clearance attempt and saw the ball roll into his goal.
The opener had a liberating effect on Vahid Halilhodzic’s men while raising the tension for Milutin Sredojevic’s and the Fennecs doubled their lead five minutes after their first. Aberrahmane Hachoud playing provider for Soudani who, as is his custom, finished expertly with his head. Rwanda’s best chance to cut the deficit came 42 minutes into the game but Rais M’Bolhi had little problems dealing with a relatively tame shot from a well-positioned Medie Kagere.
Algeria continued their dominance in the second half but were inefficient in front of goal, with Soudani, Feghouli, and Slimani all guilty of poor finishing in the early stages. The latter had a tap-in saved off the line by Jonas Nahiamana after unselfish play from Ryad Boudebouz. With the result hardly in doubt, the half didn’t match the intensity of the first but the north Africans added a third and fourth for good measure through a headers from Simani, who scored his first international goal, and Soudani in minutes 80 and 82.
The Fennecs held on to the easy win and the clean sheet to the delight of the capacity crowd in Blida and have thus begun 2014 World Cup qualifying on the right foot before their trip to Ouagadougou to play a delocalised match against Mali on June 9.