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World Cup 2014
June 26, 2014
• 4:00 PM
• Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães, Curitiba, Paraná
Referee: C. Çakιr
• Attendance: 39311
I. Slimani 60'
A. Kokorin 6'
Some incredible scenes taking place on the pitch in Curitiba as the players and fans alike celebrate this magnificent accomplishment for Algerian football. I'm Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL-TIME: ALGERIA 1-1 RUSSIA. The North Africans are through to face Germany thanks to the head of Islam Slimani! It's heartbreak for Russia, whose strong defending is once again undone by a goalkeeping blunder - only this time, it's enough to send them packing.
90' + 4'
IT'S OVER! ALGERIA ARE THROUGH TO THE KNOCKOUT STAGES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR HISTORY! Incredible scenes here as the Algerian players can hardly contain their emotions!
90' + 4'
Another free kick to Algeria inside the Russian half and surely this should do it!
90' + 3'
Tension rising! Russia sending everyone forward. Kanunnikov wins a throw near the corner flag, but it's given away and Algeria can break. Berezutski is forced into a foul and Algeria are less than a minute away from a place in the last 16!
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Algeria continue to try and waste time. Russia win a throw inside their own half, and an Algerian player leaps off the bench to kick the ball into the crowd, earning himself a yellow card.
NEARLY THE WINNER! Kozlov gets his head to the ball, and if only for a second, it looked to be looping in at the far post, but it bounces wide and Algeria can take their time with this goal kick.
With all the men Russia have forward, it has to be said that they really aren't posing much of a threat at goal. Algeria are defending valiantly here, and you can just see how much this means to them. Three minutes to be added on as Russia win a corner...
STAT ATTACK: Algeria conceded a stoppage time goal to Landon Donovan in the final group game at the 2010 World Cup that sent the Americans through to the knockout stages.
Yellow CardNabil Ghilas
Yellow card for the substitute Ghilas as he goes hard into the back of Kombarov. Russia win themselves a free kick to the left of the area in prime position to send in a cross, but Samedov puts it straight into the hands of M'Bolhi. With chances few and far between, they can't afford to waste opportunities like that.
Russia are attempting to direct all their attacks from the flanks, perhaps due to a lack of options in a packed middle of the pitch. Everyone back to defend for Algeria, who proceed to boot the ball away any chance they get.
Oh that could have been the chance! Samedov gets the ball inside the area near the end-line, and has Kanunnikov alone at the far post, but sends his chipped cross just too far for the substitute to make contact with. Time is running out for them, and the Algeria fans can taste the knockout stages!
Frustration continues to grow for Russia as they can't keep the pressure on. They make their final change as Maxim Kannunikov comes on to replace the ineffective Aleksandr Kerzhakov.
Samedov again at the centre of things for Russia in attack. The substitute Ghilas gives the ball away in his own half, and it's worked out to Samedov on the right. He cuts to the centre and picks out a wonderful through ball for Dzagoev, but he just can't control it as it runs to M'Bolhi.
Slimani is stretchered off the pitch and play resumes. He's right back up and walking, however, as he gets to the sidelines. Russia moving bodies forward as they frantically search for a winner.
Time wasting has begun for Algeria. Slimani is down after a coming together with Ignashevich, and is writhing around on the ground in pain as a substitute is readied.
Up the pitch Algeria come. They win a free kick near the corner flag and Nabil Bentaleb urges their fans to get loud! They're so close, can they hold on?
Algeria are set now to make their first change of the match as they look to hold on. The experienced Hassan Yebda is on in place of Yacine Brahimi, an expected defensive switch from Halilhodzic.
Algeria are sitting back a bit and welcoming Russia to apply the pressure. Samedov works it into the middle wonderfully, and sends a lovely little reverse pass for Kerzhakov. He has eyes for the far corner, but M'Bolhi dives to his right to collect.
Change now from Russia and it's an important one. Alan Dzagoev, the man who transformed the game for them against Korea, is on to replace Shatov. Russia have just over 20 minutes to salvage their World Cup hopes with a goal...
Capello's side are on the front foot now as they win a corner. It's flicked on by Berezutski and collected calmly by M'Bolhi. Kokorin gives him a bit of a nudge, sending the keeper to ground. The striker gets down to make what looked like an apology, but something he said got under the skin of the keeper as the two get into it a bit.
Russia have to be careful here! Algeria expose them a bit on the counter, as Djabou finds space at the top of the area, but puts his shot straight at Akinfeev. It was a clean look at goal for the midfielder, and he would have to fancy himself to to better from there.
As it stands, Algeria would be through to the knockout stages with the point! But there's still plenty of football left to play, and Denisov reminds them of that as his powerful strike from distance forces a nice save from M'Bolhi.
Akinfeev comes out to punch away the free kick, but can't get a hand to it. Slimani stands firm at the far post and heads home into the empty net! Incredible scenes in Curitiba!
Yellow CardAleksey Kozlov
SLIMANI PULLS ALGERIA LEVEL!
Kozlov gets himself into some trouble and is forced to make a panicked tackle on Djabou, earning himself the second Russian red card in a matter of minutes. Free kick in a dangerous position for Algeria...
Yellow CardDmitriy Kombarov
VITAL TOUCH! Feghouli does very well along the right, working the ball into the feet of Mandi in space. He gets his cross into the area and it looks to be there for Slimani, but Ignashevich leaps up to make a crucial clearance! Much better though, from Algeria.
Russia have a real confidence to them at the moment. They're passing it around calmly and with some real certainty. They haven't had too much to deal with at the back, keeping Algeria on the perimeter, forcing Slimani to be something of a spectator outside of set pieces.
What a run from Kerzhakov! Where was this in the first two matches for Russia? He does incredibly well, showing some surprising pace to beat Mesbah and Bentaleb as he cuts into the centre. He has options for a pass, but opts to have a go at goal himself. His shot takes a big deflection and goes behind for a corner.
Algeria win a corner, where they have been very dangerous thus far. This time Akinfeev takes matters into his own hands as he comes out to punch the ball clear. Russia defending with real purpose.
HOW DID THAT STAY OUT?! Russia dance their way into the penalty area, through some lovely play from Samedov. He works a one-two with Kokorin that sees him clean through on goal, but he can't beat M'Bolhi who makes a fine save to deny Russia a second!
The players take the pitch and we're back underway in the second half. One change to tell you about, as Denis Glushakov gives way for the experienced Igor Denisov of Dynamo Moscow.
FIRST HALF STATS: Both teams have had five shots, three on target, while Russia had the narrowest advantage in possession with 51 percent.
HALF-TIME: ALGERIA 0-1 RUSSIA. Kokorin's early goal has proved to be the only difference between the two sides as we reach the break. Russia are playing with a lot more confidence than they had in their first two matches, but both sides have had their chances. Algeria need a goal, and Russia need the three points, so the stage is set for an entertaining final 45 minutes!
45' + 1'
KERZHAKOV! Russia nearly end the half with a bang! Fayzulin makes a superb run, as has been the theme for Capello's midfielders thus far, and slides a through ball to Kerzhakov. It's got a bit too much weight on it, but the striker slides to make contact and nearly fools the goalkeeper. That's the final kick of the half as the referee sounds his whistle.
Only one minute to be added on at the end of the half, with very few stoppages thus far...
Another chance from a set piece and Mesbah gets his head to this one, but it sails well over the bar. They haven't taken their chances yet, but Russia have to be sharper with their defending of these set pieces.
OH WHAT A CHANCE FOR SLIMANI! He gets away from his marker and towers high into the air, making great contact with the corner, but it's straight at Akinfeev! He really should have drawn Algeria level here.
Perhaps a bit unsettling for Russia here who have lulled themselves to sleep with their short passes at the back. A pass back to Akinfeev is chased by Slimani who forces the goalkeeper to put it out of play. The throw is taken quickly and Algeria win themselves a corner.
Yellow CardDjamel Mesbah
Well this could be promising for Russia! Kerzhakov with some nice work as he drifts into a wide position, forces Mesbah into a tackle just outside the right of the penalty area - and the referee sees enough in the tackle to give Mesbah the first yellow card of the match.
Russia win themselves a free-kick here from about 35 yards out. Plenty of targets for Samedov to pick out inside the area, but he sends his cross over the heads of everyone and behind for a goal kick.
We've entered a bit of cagey period here as we approach the break. Algeria are careful not to be exposed at the back and find themselves 2-0 down at half-time, while Russia certainly don't want to head to the locker room at level pegging.
Much more promising from the North Africans. Djabou is picked out along the left by Brahimi, with Russia outnumbered at the back, but his first touch is too strong and Kozlov recovers to put it out of play. Shortly after they're back in attack through Brahimi again, but his shot proves an easy stop for Akinfeev.
Akinfeev's save is all for nought, however, as play is called to a halt for offside with an Algerian player blocking the view of the goalkeeper. Nonetheless, that should certainly give Akinfeev a boost of confidence!
INCREDIBLE FROM AKINFEEV! Algeria win themselves a corner. They have plenty of height in the side which makes them a real danger from set pieces. It's flicked on at the near post for Slimani who has a free header, but Akinfeev flies across to tip it over the bar.
Finally a shot on target for Algeria, and it may well even be their first attempt. They move the ball up the pitch much quicker this time and Brahimi takes a pass at the top of the area, but doesn't strike the ball cleanly as it carries easily into the arms of Akinfeev.
NEARLY A SECOND FOR RUSSIA! A brilliant run from Oleg Shatov and he has a go at goal from nearly 30 yards out, narrowly missing the top corner with M'Bolhi frozen to the ground!
Kombarov has proved a real menace for Mandi thus far. The left-back is getting forward exceptionally well and providing some real teasing crosses into the area. This time he cuts into the centre and gets in a shooting position, but it takes a deflection off a defender and trickles harmlessly wide.
Space has been very hard to come by for the Algerians in the opening 20 minutes. They've had some positive stretches, but Russia are defending well in all areas of the pitch. They're going to have to start committing men forward or they will continue to make life easy on these Russian defenders.
STAT ATTACK: Sergei Ignashevich is earning his 100th international cap today for Russia.
Kokorin is getting himself involved in the proceedings for Russia, much more so than in the first two matches. He works a nice one-two with Kozlov to win a throw in an attacking area, then gets on the end of a cross from Samedov but glances his header wide of the far post.
Clever run from Glushakov! The holding midfielder shows he's more than just a imposing presence as he weaves his way into the area, past a few defenders. He gets by Belkalem, but his final touch is a bit heavy and it ricochets straight into the arms of M'Bolhi.
Algeria are enjoying the bulk of possession, with Russia are looking to break on a fast counter. Shatov nearly gets them going, but he's fouled by Medjani and the pace fizzles out.
Feghouli just can't escape the final man! Some lovely dribbling technique shown as he takes a pass and eludes three defenders before he is finally dispossessed by Ignashevich. The central defender then deals with Slimani well as a dangerous looking cross is played into the area.
Algeria have upped the pressure, but their fans have been taken out of it just a bit. There's still a great atmosphere here in Curitiba, but it's the Russian fans making the most noise now as their team defend the pressure with plenty of confidence.
The early goal should really help open things up now. Algeria can't just sit back and defend, they need a goal now or their World Cup will come to an end!
Out of nothing, really, Dimitri Kombarov takes advantage of the extra space on the left in Feghouli's absence, streaking forward and sending a sensational left-footed cross into the area. Kokorin attacks it with real intent and sends an unstoppable header into the top corner. It's a dream start for Russia!
RUSSIA ARE IN FRONT THROUGH KOKORIN!
We have a brief stoppage as we approach five minutes played, as Sofiane Feghouli has picked up a knock after a clash of heads. He wants to carry on, but he's cut fairly badly and the Turkish referee sends him to the sidelines to get patched up.
Russia pass it around with no real threat. Algeria appear to be full of energy in midfield, chasing the ball with real menace, forcing the Russians into some negative movement early on.
And we're off! Algeria get us started, moving left to right, in their all white kits. Russia counter in all red. Straight off the start the North African's attempt a long ball forward but it's off the mark allowing Russia to take over.
There's a buzz in the air as the anthems are played, both sets of fans singing proudly. Plenty at stake in this match and you can almost feel the tension in the air! Should be a cracking match, and we're just minutes away from kick-off!
The front four for Algeria will have to carry their fine form into this evening's contest. Feghouli will again have the creative responsibility in the final third, but he won't be alone. Yacine Brahimi and Abdelmoumeme Djabou slot in behind Islam Slimani, all three of whom found the back of the net in their previous match. With Russia's scoring struggles, might one goal be enough for the North Africans to secure at least a draw and take them to the knockout stages? We'll find out!
Although Algeria would likely be through with just a point, the North Africans have made a switch to a more attacking line-up. After going with five at the back against Korea, Carl Medjani will slide up to midfield alongside Nabil Bentaleb as they opt for a four man back-line.
At the back, everything remains the same for Russia. They are very hard to break down and it has shown through their first two games. A late Belgium goal and an Igor Akinfeev howler is all they have conceded through their first two matches, but they will be up against an Algerian attack that comes into the match with plenty of confidence after netting four goals in their last match. Oleg Shatov and Dimitri Kombarov will have to be in top form to keep Sofiane Feghouli in check, or it could prove to be a dissappointing night for Russia.
Fabio Capello has finally showed a bit of urgency, starting with two up top after keeping Kerzhakov out of the starting line-up in each of Russia's first two matches. Rubin Kazan's Maxim Kannunikov is the one to give way for the Zenit forward, which should give them more of an attacking threat.
ALGERIA SUBS: Si Mohamed, Bougherra, Ghoulam, Yebda, Lecen, Ghilas, Soudani, Zemmamouche, Cadamuro, Taider, Mahrez, Mostefa.
ALGERIA XI (4-2-3-1): M'Bolhi; Mandi, Belkalem, Halliche, Mesbah; Medjani, Bentaleb; Feghouli, Brahimi, Djabou; Slimani.
RUSSIA SUBS: Schennikov, Semenov, Kanunnikov, Denisov, Dzagoev, Lodygin, Granat, Mogilevets, Ryzhikov, Zhirkov, Ionov, Eshchenko.
RUSSIA XI (4-4-2): Akinfeev; Kozlov, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Kombarov; Samedov, Glushakov, Fayzulin, Shatov; Kokorin, Kerzhakov.
Enough talking. Let's have a look at who the coaches entrusted with the responsibility for this pivotal match...
For Russia, the task is a bit more daunting. A win would see them through, provided South Korea don't beat Belgium by more goals than they beat Algeria. Make sense? Good. If South Korea fail to defeat Belgium, Russia would be through with a win. Anything but would send Fabio Capello's men packing – not the best statement for them to make with the 2018 World Cup headed for their neck of the woods.
First off, let us take a look at the qualification scenarios before kick-off. Belgium are already through to the knockout stages, and enter the day in first place with six points. Algeria currently sit in second with three, while Russia and South Korea share third spot at a point a piece. For the North Africans, qualification is quite simple – win and move on. A draw would even be enough for Vahid Halilhodzic’s side, as long as South Korea don't beat Belgium by three goals or more. If any of the above happens, we would be witnessing history, as Algeria have never previously progressed past the group stage at a World Cup. This might just be the most important match in the nation's history!
The group stage comes to a close this evening, but we may just have a bit of drama left in what has been a spectacular World Cup to date. Russia and Algeria are set to face off at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba with both team's qualification hopes alive and kicking! I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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