It was a game in which anything but a Russian win would probably see the Algerian’s through, while anything but three points for the Russians would see them out of the tournament.

Fabio Capello’s men got off to the start they were hoping for on 6’. Aleksandr Kokorin, of whom much has been expected in this tournament, brought the Russians the lead as his header from the centre of the box found the top corner to give the Russians the early 1-0 lead. It was a beautiful goal that keeper Rais M’Bolhi had no chance of keeping out.

Oleg Shatov almost single handedly gave the Russians their second goal as he received the ball on the half line, carrying it passed a few defenders, only to see his shot go just over the Algerian goal. Russia looked dangerous going forward, but the Algerians did a good job preventing any real clear-cut chances in the final third.

Algeria arguably had their best chance of the half on 43’ when a headed corner was struck well, only to go directly at Igor Akinfeev. Other than that the Algerians did not look overly threatening in front of the Russian goal.

After forty-five minutes the only difference in the score was Kokorin’s 6th minute goal. If the scores of both this game and the Korea/Belgium stood, Russia would be advancing into the Round of 16 to face Germany.

 

The second half got off to a flying start as the Russians nearly grabbed another early goal. M’Bolhi had to come off his line quickly as Kokorin released Aleksandr Samedov on goal only to have his shot saved by the oncoming Algerian keeper. The Algerians should have considered themselves thankful, as coming back from 2-0 down would have been a very tall task.

The Algerians got the goal they were so desperately seeking on 60’ when Akinfeev failed to reach the ball put into the middle of the box. It was Islam Slimani who made Akinfeev pay for his mistake as he headed home the equalizer from about 5-yards out. As it stood after 70’, Algeria were on their way to the knockout rounds.

The Russians just couldn’t find the winner as they continued to push men forward in the last twenty minutes. Algeria was doing really well to absorb the pressure and was able to hold off the Russians in the final third. At the end of 90’ Algeria advanced as a second half goal tied up the score and sent them to the Round of 16. It is a rather remarkable feat for the African nation, one that will surely be remembered in their history for years to come.