PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil–Algeria put themselves in pole position to reach the World Cup knock-out stages for the first time with a 4-2 win over South Korea in Porto Alegre on Sunday.
It was the first time an African team had scored four goals in a World Cup match and ended a 32-year win drought at the finals for the “Desert Foxes.”
First-half goals from Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoume Djabou put Algeria in total control.
Yacine Brahimi’s second half strike, sandwiched by efforts from Son Heung-Min and Koo Ja-Cheol, ensured Algeria moved up to second in Group H behind Belgium.FEATURED STORIES
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Having been knocked out in the group stages of their three previous tournament appearances, and not won a World Cup match in their last seven attempts, Algeria were looking for a lift at the Beira Rio stadium.
They were off to a dream start as Slimani, one of five changes from their opening 2-1 defeat to Belgium, muscled off Korea’s two center-backs to latch onto a long ball forward and jab home.
Within three minutes, Halliche had doubled the lead with a powerful header from a corner.
Djabou, another player promoted to the starting line-up, fired home the third as Korea’s hapless defense once again went missing.
The Asians were a different proposition in the second half and quickly pulled a goal back through Son, who fired through goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi’s legs.
Mbolhi then made a brilliant save to deny Ki Sung-Yeung as the Koreans continued to push before Brahimi virtually killed the game after finishing off a slick passing move.
Koo slotted home a cross from Lee Keun-Ho but it wasn’t enough to spare Korea’s blushes, meaning they must now beat Belgium in their final group game to stand any chance of progressing.