CURITIBA, Brazil, (Reuters) – Islam Slimani headed an ecstatic Algeria into the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time with a 1-1 draw against Russia yesterday that dumped Fabio Capello’s team out of the tournament.
On a momentous night for the North Africans, who were the last team through to the knockout rounds with Belgium already qualified as Group H leaders, Algeria recovered from an early Alexander Kokorin goal to advance.
The point, in a tense match at the Baixada Arena with everything still at stake and 2018 hosts Russia needing a win to go through at Algeria’s expense, was all the ‘Desert Foxes’ needed to make history.
With Belgium finishing on nine points, Algeria, who face Germany for a place in the quarter-finals, ended with four to Russia’s two and South Korea’s one.
The draw was all they deserved but it came after an early setback, with Kokorin meeting a beautifully-flighted Dmitry Kombarov cross to nod in a perfectly-executed header in the sixth minute.