By Nick Said, 22 June 2014 –allAfrica.com
Algeria became the first African nation to net four goals in a World Cup finals match as they defeated hapless South Korea 4-2 in their World Cup Group H clash in Porto Alegre on Sunday.
The victory gives Algeria an excellent chance of making the second round, which will be achieved if they get at least a draw in their final match against Russia and South Korea fail to beat Belgium. Victory against the Russians, and their passage will be assured.
Algeria scored three goals in 13 first-half minutes as they cut apart the Asian team with almost embarrassing ease, netting through Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou. Yacine Brahimi added a fourth in the second half, his first goal in international football.
South Korea, outgunned for most of the match, did manage two scores of their own through Son Heung-min and Koo Ja-cheol.
Algeria should have had a penalty inside four minutes when Sofiane Feghouli was felled in the penalty-area, but referee Wilmar Roldán from Colombia waved play on.
But they did take the lead on 25 minutes as Feghouli’s long ball over the top was chased by Slimani and, having got between the two centre backs, the striker provided the touch past the goalkeeper to score his 11th goal in 22 international appearances.
Just three minutes later and it was 2-0 as Djabou’s corner was headed home by Halliche, with the South Korea goalkeeper having made a complete hash of his attempt to punch the ball to safety.
And Algeria were not done yet as they continued to attack, with Djabou this time on the scoresheet as he latched onto a square-ball from Slimani and side-footed home.
South Korea came out for the second half with more purpose and began finally to exert some pressure on the Algerian goal.
That paid off five minutes after the break as Heung-min expertly created space for himself in the box and then fired through the legs of Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi.
That sparked thoughts of a come-back and the Asian side looked rejuvenated, but crucially it was Algeria who forced the next goal, Brahimi with a low finish from 10 yards that was once again far too easy from a South Korean point of view.
Still the Koreans kept coming though and they collected a second to send jitters through Algeria again, this time it was Ja-cheol who scored with his knee after a Lee Keun-ho cross in the six-yard box.
It was not to be the start of a comeback though and Algeria can now look forward to their final pool match against Russia on Thursday brimming with confidence.