Algeria made history on Thursday night as it progressed to the knockout stages of the World Cup, but head coach Vahid Halilhodzic believes there is still room for improvement.
A 1-1 draw against Russia was sufficient to see the North African side through as Group H’s runner-up, with Islam Slimani’s second-half header leveling after an early strike from Alexandr Kokorin, but the former PSG coach is seeking more from his team.
“I think we can do things much better and why not? Maybe we will against Germany,” he told the press. “We received a lot of support and we have fewer supporters than Germany, but I hope a lot of people will cheer for us - I know you Brazilians love football and we can satisfy you.
“We are not at the level of Brazil but we will try to do everything to attract Brazilian fans in Porto Alegre.”
Algeria is the only international side Germany have faced more than once and never beaten, with the Fennecs winning both previous meetings, including a famous success at World Cup 1982
“That was a long time ago,” Halilhodzic said. “I’m proud of what we have done tonight. Algeria played a great match and qualification for the next stage is deserved.”
“Give me some time to enjoy today's match. I don't want to think of Germany right now but I know it will be more than complicated.”
Reflecting on his side’s decisive group match, he was pleased with the manner his team responded to the early blow delivered by Russia.
“I told them to be organized, not to panic and not to concede a second goal,” he explained. “We needed to control the ball more quickly and move it a lot. The pitch was not in the best state, so I told them to get the ball and pass is fast. Physically my players are very tired.”