Friday, 18th June 2010
England vs Algeria
in Cape Town
Birthday Boy, Fabio Capello had Gareth Barry fit and brought in
David James as number one.
Ravshan Irmatov, of Uzbekistan, refereed the South Africa vs Mexico opening game and became the
first referee to take charge of his second match at the 2010 World Cup Finals.
Algeria also started the game with a change of goalkeeper; Rais
M'Bolhi even had a trial for Manchester United before the tournament. Perhaps it was
memories of that trial that fogged his vision, as he made an early mistake by passing to
With eighteen minutes gone, Algeria seemed to settle in rather well;
giving England plenty to think about.
Five minutes later, David James did well to keep hold of Nadir
Belhadj's high corner; as Algeria continued to put England on the back foot.
With half an hour gone, England were looking perilously close to
winning the 'Worse Team of The Tournament' tag off France; about the only thing either
team would win on their current showing.
A chorus of God Save The Queen inspired Steven Gerrard and Wayne
Rooney for a split second; the sort of mini moments that result in goals.
Then a minute later, M'Bolhi stopped England's best chance of the
first-half; from the rapidly advancing Frank Lampard. Those sort of goals have gone in so
many times at Stamford Bridge.
Fabio Capello walked towards the tunnel with his head down and hands
in his pockets. Not the sort of birthday surprise he would have wished for. Now what?
Is the Italian manager suffocating the players? Maybe they should
listen to Beckenbauer - kick and rush is better than this.
Emile Heskey showed that he's been watching some of the talent in
other World Cup games as he tried to appear skilful with his feet on the right.
Unfortunately, a donkey can't become a thoroughbred overnight.
Things went from bad to worse, just before the hour, as Jamie
Carragher was booked for a block on the edge of the area and would miss the crucial game against Slovenia. No tears though.
An awful back-pass from John Terry put David James under immense
pressure. Terry then made amends by heading the goalkeeper's punt further upfield.
The arrival of Jermain Defoe, in place of Emile Heskey, added a little
more spark to the England attack.
The Americans could quite rightly feel proud of their draw with Slovenia, after going two goals down in their first-half,
but England would have to be thoroughly ashamed by this performance.
In a final throw of the dice, Capello sent on big Peter Crouch for
Gareth Barry, with just six minutes left to break the deadlock.
That didn't work, so knockout football comes early for England, as
they have to beat Slovenia in the final group game. On
this showing, that doesn't look very likely.
If England can't score one goal against Slovenia (and keep a clean
sheet), they'll need to draw at least two-two and hope the United
States vs Algeria game is goalless. As for drawing of lots, perish the thought.
England 0 Algeria 0
Man of The Match:
Nadir Belhadj - Always a threat attacking down the left and helped Algeria keep a clean
sheet by stopping Emile Heskey; although some would say Emile (in an England shirt) stops
1 David James; 3 Ashley Cole, 6 John Terry, 18 Jamie Carragher, 2 Glen Johnson; 4 Steven
Gerrard, 14 Gareth Barry, 8 Frank Lampard, 7 Aaron Lennon; 10 Wayne Rooney, 21 Emile
23 Rais M'Bolhi; 3 Nadir Belhadj, 4 Antar Yahia, 5 Rafik Halliche, 2 Madjid Bougherra; 15
Karim Ziani, 8 Medhi Lacen, 7 Ryad Boudebouz, 19 Hassan Yebda, 21 Foued Kadir; 13 Karim
Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
63 Mins (England) - 17 Shaun Wright-Phillips on for 7 Aaron Lennon
74 Mins (Algeria) - 22 Djamel Abdoun on for 7 Ryad Boudebouz
74 Mins (England) - 19 Jermain Defoe on for 21 Emile Heskey
81 Mins (Algeria) - 17 Adlène Guédioura on for 15 Karim Ziani
84 Mins (England) - 9 Peter Crouch on for 14 Gareth Barry
88 Mins (Algeria) - 20 Djamel Mesbah on for 19 Hassan Yebda
58 Mins - Jamie Carragher (England) - misses next game.
85 Mins - Medhi Lacen (Algeria)
0 Red Cards.
With no experience of playing against Algeria, England opted for a test drive against
Egypt, at Wembley, in March 2010; which England comfortably won (3:1).
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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