Sunday, June 22, 2014

Algeria 4 - South Korea 2

Photo by Paul Gilham
Algeria and South Korea both marked this fixture in Porto Alegre as the one they felt they could most utilize to get a win in Group H. Algeria were on the front foot early, lead by talismanic attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli to create early chances. South Korea's goal appeared to be living a charmed life early on, and Algeria even had shouts for a penalty in the early going. Koo Ja-Cheol got into the Algerian penalty area with possession, but Algerian captain Madjid Bougherra was able to execute a smooth backheel steal from Koo. Algerian RB swung in a ball to Islam Slimani in the box, but Slimani was unable to gather the ball cleanly in stride, so his marker Hong was able to clear the danger. Route-one football proved the answer for Algeria. Carl Medjani popped a long through ball over the top, and Slimani fought off two defenders before softly chipping over the onrushing South Korea goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong to give the Fennec Foxes a 1-0 lead. Brahimi nearly scored a second after Algeria had stolen the ensuing kickoff, but Kim Young-Gwon did just enough to deflect the ball off frame. On the ensuing corner kick, Rafik Halliche completely dusted his marker Kim Young-Gwon and rose for the header six yards away from goal. Jung came out to punch but failed, so Halliche powered the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead. Ten minutes after their second goal, Algeria found yet another goal. Slimani slipped into the box from the left side. He drew a second defender, Kim Young-Gwon off the run of Abdelmoumene Djabou, so Slimani sent a nice ball across to Djabou, who finished with placement to make it 3-0. That would be Algeria's lead going into the break.

Five minutes after the restart South Korea announced that they planned on fighting until the end. Route-one football lad to a sparkling individual effort from Son Heung-Min. He trapped the pass with his back, then turned to beat Bougherra. Son's shot went through the goalkeeper's legs to bring his side to within 3-1. Ki Sung-Yueng hit a massive blast from thirty-seven yards as the game approached the hour mark, forcing Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'bolhi into a spectacular leap to touch the ball over his crossbar. Aissa Mandi had to make a header clearance off the goal line to help out M'bohi who ha been beaten on the play. South Korea appeared to have lulled the Algerians into a fall sense of security. Completely against the run of play, Algeria scored again. Feghouli and Yacine Brahimi executed a one-two-one-two interplay from over forty yards from goal, allowing for Brahimi simply to push the ball over the line from close range after the intricate buildup. The Fennec Foxes were now up 4-1 with less than a half hour to play. With less than twenty minutes to play, the Taegeuk Warriors were right back at it. Kim Shin-Wook won the first header in the box. Son muffed a chance at the goalmouth, but Lee Keun-Ho (pictured, red) was there to clean up the mess. He passed across to Koo who used his raised leg to knock the ball over the goal line to bring South Korea within two goals. Kim Shin-Wook won a header in the box from a corner kick and nearly sent in a third goal for the Koreans, which truly would have made for a spectacular finish to the match. Algeria hold on and win 4-2 to jump into second place in the group table.

Belgium IN 6 pts +2
Algeria 3 pts +1
Russia 1 pts -1
South Korea 1 pts -2

Islam Slimani 26
Rafik Halliche 28
Abdelmoumene Djabou 38
Yacine Brahimi 62

South Korea
Son Heung-Min 50
Koo Ja-Cheol 72

Match Reports:


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