Sunday, June 13, 2010
Game 6: Algeria vs Slovenia
With the draw between England and the United States, both teams were extremely cautious, playing defensive soccer for the full ninety minutes. There were very few shots on goal, with Algeria and Slovenia only having two and three respectively, almost all coming from counterattacks and set pieces. Eventually, Robert Koren would score in the seventy-ninth minute, off of yet another horrible goalkeeping mistake.
However, there was a historical moment worth noting from this match, as Abdelkader Ghezzal became the fastest red card for a substitute coming off of the bench. Substituted in the fifty-eighth minute for Djebbour, he would receive his first yellow one minute later. Then in the seventy-third minute he would find himself diving for a lobbed ball, only to, stupidly, reach out with his hand to bring it down in the box. The referee did not hesitate, giving Ghezzal a second yellow and sending him off of the pitch.
Even though Algeria was one man down, they continued to push at times, stretching themselves very thin. Ultimately a quick Slovenia counter-attack, and a horrible save later, Slovenia would find themselves to be the winners.
In the end, neither team looked terribly impressive, they didn't play the game they typically do, instead playing very cautiously. Now Slovenia will have some momentum heading into their match with England, sitting atop the group and therefore forcing the Three Lions to come at the defense in order to win. By doing so, Slovenia will be hoping to pull the English defense so far up that they can send one of their strikers running, and possibly get a goal or two to pull off another draw.
Algeria on the other hand is now in a difficult position. If they want to continue on then they will need to beat a very tough United States team, something I don't think they will be able to do.
Ultimately, both these teams proved today that they are the minnows of the group, and I will be utterly shocked if either advance. A very disappointing match.
Final Score: Algeria 0 - 1 Slovenia