Slovenia score first ever World Cup win over Algeria 1-0

Slovenia finally scored their first ever win in World Cup competition when they defeated Algeria 1-0 at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on Sunday in South Africa.

A crowd of 30,325 people witnessed another critical goal keeping error when Algerian keeper Chaouchi made a terrible blunder in the second half to gift Slovenia a one goal advantage which they protected comfortably until the final whistle was blown.

In a game that lacked the entertainment of previous World Cups played in South Africa over the weekend, Slovenia will be well relieved to get the 3 points and Algeria can consider themselves unlucky not to get away with a point of their own.

First Half:
A first half of little action and Slovenia controlled most of the play for the first 30 minutes before Algeria started to make their presence felt.

Algeria had half a chance early in the first half and the best effort of the match came just before half-time for Slovenia when Birsa’s a left-foot shot from outside the box was expertly tipped over the bar by the Algerian keeper.

Not a great spectacle to watch as forays into the opposition’s box was rare from either side  and the crowd were doing a Mexican wave after the half hour to bring some life to a dull match.

First half rating (Out of 5): Algeria 2 – Slovenia 2.5

Second Half
Much like the first half, the second stanza was a fairly dull affair with nothing much to whet the appetite and the game produced little of the excitement seen from games played over the past couple of days.

The game changed at 73 minutes when Algeria were reduced to 10 men with Abdelkader Ghezzal receiving his second yellow card and being sent off.

Just 6 minutes later and Slovenia’s Birsa made an inside run from the left to find Koren on the edge of the area who hit a weak shot towards the bottom right-hand of the goal which should have been saved, but Chaouchi palmed the ball into the corner of the goal, very Robert Green like, to gift Slovenia the lead.

Slovenia were never going to lose from that point and the game continued on its way until finishing in a 1-0 win to Slovenia.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Algeria 2 – Slovenia 2.5

Final Score

Algeria 0 – 1 Slovenia

79m R. Koren (Slo)

35m A. Radosavljevic (Slo)
59m A. Ghezzal (Alg)
73m A. Ghezzal (Alg)
90m H. Yebda (Alg)
90m A. Komac (Slo)

Algeria Starting 11
Fawzi Chaouchi, Anther Yahia, Madjid Bougherra, Rafik Halliche, Nadir Belhadj, Foued Kadir, Mehdi Lacen, Karim Ziani, Hassan Yebda, Rafik Djebbour, Karim Matmour,

Substitutes
58m Abdelkader Ghezzal for Rafik Djebbour
80m Rafik Saifi for Karim Matmour
82m Adlene Guédioura for Foued Kadir

Slovenia Starting 11
Samir Handanovic, Miso Brecko, Marko Suler, Bostjan Cesar, Bojan Jokic, Andraz Kirm, Robert Koren, Aleksander Radosavljevic, Valter Birsa, Zlatko Dedic, Milivoje Novakovic

Substitutes
58m Zlatan Ljubijankic for Zlatko Dedic
80m Nejc Pecnik    for Valter Birsa
82m Andrej Komac for Aleksander Radosavljevic

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Algeria 4 - Slovenia 5

Match Thoughts

Both sides were sound in defence and Slovenia appeared the more structured unit over the course of the game.

Neither team were particularly adventurous up forward, except maybe for Slovenia’s Birsa, and the game itself was not much to watch from a football purists point of view.

Algeria

Positives: Held their own and were unlucky to lose after playing with 10 men for the last ten minutes and goal they conceded was just a keeper error.
Area to Improve: Not as adventurous as the African sides that have already played and need to create more chances to goal.
Where to now: Face England who are on the rebound from USA draw and the pressure is on the English to win which means Algeria could be a bit more adventurous with nothing to lose (except a spot in the next round).

Slovenia

Positives: Controlled play well for long periods and very sound defensively
Area to Improve: Not enough entry into the penalty box when in control of the ball and need much more potency up forward.
Where to now: Face USA and England and their defence can stifle both of those sides but can their offence score enough goals to beat them.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup

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