Lee Chung-Yong (c)
Algeria grabbed second place in Group H with an exciting 4-2 victory against South Korea in Porto Alegre on Sunday afternoon.
Goals were not on the agenda going into this game: Before Monday’s World Cup opening goal against Belgium, Algeria had failed to score a World Cup goal in 28 years, and the South Koreans had never managed more than two goals in a World Cup game.
That changed today. A devastating three-goal spell in the first half sent Algeria into the locker room with a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead. Islam Slimani gave the Fennec Foxes a 25th minute lead. Two minutes later, Rafik Halliche took advantage of a bad goalkeeping error by Korean keeper Jung Sungryong to head in a second, and Abdelmoumene Djabou slotted a third past Jung in the 37th minute.
Facing a humiliating outcome, South Korea responded with a goal in the 49th minute from playmaker Son Heung-min, who shot through the legs of Algerian keeper Rais M'Bolhi. But Algeria made sure of all three points when a fine give-and-go between Yacine Brahimi and Sofiane Feghouli carved up the Korean defense and enabled Brahimi to add a vital fourth goal.
To their credit, South Korea kept pushing. Koo Ja-cheol added a second goal, and despite some late pressure, the Algerians were worth the win.
Algeria moves into second place in Group H behind Belgium, which qualified for the round of 16 after defeating Russia earlier in the day. Algeria will play Russia on Thursday in Curitiba in a match that will most likely decide which team joins the Belgians in the second round. South Korea will play Belgium in São Paulo.