Slovenia record first finals victory over 10-man Algeria
Slovenia recorded their first ever World Cup finals victory in Polokwane on Sunday with a 1-0 win over 10-man Algeria in their Group C clash.sports Updated: Jun 13, 2010 19:27 IST
Slovenia recorded their first ever World Cup finals victory in Polokwane on Sunday with a 1-0 win over 10-man Algeria in their Group C clash.
Captain Robert Koren scored the only goal of a poor game in the 79th minute to give Slovenia the three points after they lost all three matches in their previous finals appearance in 2002.
Algeria had substitute Abdelkadel Ghezzal sent-off in the 72nd minute after only being on the pitch for 14 minutes.
Koren, pivotal in West Brom's promotion to the Premier League last season, scored in the 79th minute with a well struck right footed effort from just outside the area but Faouzi Chaouchi should have done better instead of mis-timing his drive and seeing the ball bobble over him.
The first-half had offered little in terms of excitement as warm, clear conditions greeted the outsiders in a mini-league expected to be dominated by 1966 champions England and the United States, who drew 1-1 in Rustenburg the previous night.
A free-kick in front of goal and outside the penalty area offered the North Africans the first chance and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic did well to tip over a Nadir Belhadj shot.
Chaouchi and Portsmouth midfielder Belhadj were fortunate starters for the 'Desert Foxes' as bans stemming from 2010 African Nations Cup red cards were dropped only this week by the African Football Confederation.
Chaouchi came to the rescue as half-time approached, acrobatically tipping over a dipping Valter Birsa shot as Slovenia moved up a couple of gears and also forced a couple of corners.