Algeria ecstatic with progression

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Alexander Kokorin headed Russia in front on six minutes to give Fabio Capello’s men the advantage, yet Islam Slimani sent the Algerian crowd into absolute delirium after converting a Yacine Brahimi free-kick to draw the Fennec Foxes level.

Algeria held on for the draw as they finished second in the group to secure a Last 16 berth.

“It’s a dream come true for me, but it’s not just me – it’s the group that should be praised,” goal-scorer and man of the Match Islam Slimani told FIFA.com after the match.

“We’ve played well and we deserve to qualify. This award is a real bonus, I love to play with this team.”

Algerian coach Vahid Halilhodzic was delighted with his team’s achievement.

“I am very proud, we played a heroic match and we deserved to qualify,” said the national boss.

“We’re very, very proud. We’ve progressed so much over the past three years and this is a real gift for us.”

Vahid Halilhodzic said he was grateful for the support his side has received in the tournament so far, both in Brazil and abroad.

“We’ve received support from all over the Arabic world – and that has been wonderful,” he said.

“The people here in Brazil also appreciate our sincerity and enthusiasm and I’m proud of that.

“But more than that, I’m proud of the way the team has played.”

Africa’s highest-ranked nation at the Mundial must now prepare to face Germany in their Round of 16 clash – a side they have beaten at the World Cup before, albeit over three decades ago.

“Everyone will now talk about 1982 when Algeria beat Germany, but 32 years ago is a long time!” the Algeria boss exclaimed.

Algeria’s knockout clash with the Germans is scheduled for Monday, 30 June at 10pm.

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