In the second game to be contested in Group C, Slovenia overcame the much-dismissed North Africans by a single goal. The match-deciding strike was late, and came courtesy of a goalkeeping blunder.
The goal was a cruel blow to one man in particular, as although Algerian ‘keeper Faouzi Chaouchi made a meal of holding on to Robert Koren’s tame strike, the 25-year-old stopper had looked distinguishably sturdy during the rest of the game.
The Slovenians went at him from set-pieces from the off – Boštjan Cesar attacked whip-ins with the air of Bruce Lee. One vertical punch aside, Chaouchi’s fisting was decisive from all Slovenia’s deliveries. Likewise, the rest of the Algerian side defended Slovenian set-plays with a steely discipline, and didn’t give their opponents an inch.
England and USA fans should note that Les Fennecs are as content off the ball as they are on it. Their goal kicks tend to be played short, though expect the occasional (central) punt. For the latter scenario, Karim Ziani shifts inside to flick the ball on.
England’s defence should also note that Rafik Djebbour works hard up top despite a paucity of service or numerical support. Continue reading