El Arbi Hillel Soudani
So the events of the 1982 World Cup will remain Algeria's most notable and notorious entry in the annals of the tournament's history. But only just.
Thirty-two years ago West Germany versus Algeria provided one of the great World Cup shocks. West Germany and Austria then provided one of the great World Cup stitch-ups. In the Estádio Beira-Rio, the modern-day German and Algerian sides for 90 minutes provided one of the great World Cup 0-0s before André Schürrle and Mesut özil broke the deadlock, if not Algerian spirits.
Thoughts of revenge had dominated the agenda in the buildup. Having beaten an over-confident West German side in the group stages in 1982, the Fennec Foxes awaited the final match of the group - West Germany v Austria, being played a day later - knowing that a big win for the Germans or a draw or win for the Austrians would be enough to see them progress. Instead the result in Gijón - a 1-0 win for West Germany in which, once the goal was scored, both teams slowed to a crawl - took Austria and West Germany through and dumped the Algerians out.
The Disgrace of Gijón left an indelible mark on Algerian football. Pre-match Vahid Halilhodzic could not quite decide whether to fan the flames or reach for a wet blanket. "This is history" he said dismissively at one point. "My players have to be motivated. They'll do everything to get their revenge," he U-turned at another.
There was certainly plenty of fire in Algerian bellies, and no shortage of quality in their play. Before the 1982 game the German coach, Jupp Derwall, had neglected to show his players a video of their opponents for fear they would laugh at him. Joachim Löw's side were not so ill-prepared and they will have recognised the way in which Algeria bested them over the first 45 minutes and continued to threaten throughout. For much of the time, though, they could do little about it.
Combining the bloody-mindedness that almost brought success against Belgium, the force of will that saw them claw a draw against Russia, and, most evidently, the thrilling attack play that saw them score more World Cup goals in 12 minutes against South Korea than they had mustered in 28 years, Halilhodzic's side terrified their more illustrious opponents.
The 4-2 win over the South Koreans came in the same Porto Alegre stadium that hosted the last 16 tie but the calibre of opposition was somewhat different. This was not an insipid Korean side - this was team that had been to semi-finals in four of the last five major championships, and had not failed to reach a World Cup last eight since 1938. And yet Algeria appeared more than capable of matching the feats of their two previous golden generations.
For the history between German sides and the Fennec Foxes goes beyond 1982 and all the way back to 1 January 1964, when after Algeria's eight-year war of independence against France, West Germany became the first major footballing power to face newly independent Algeria. And just as they would do 18 years later, the North Africans ran out winners.
Two golden generations, two meetings with German sides, two wins. For 90 minutes this third golden group seemed more than capable of completing a hat-trick. Sofiane Feghouli wasted the best opportunity early on, opting to slash at goal rather than pull back for the waiting El Arabi Hillel Soudani, but chances presented themselves with a regularity that will concern Löw.
It was nearly half-time before Germany wrested control of the game, but even then their grip was loose, their determination to take advantage of their dominance tempered by the knowledge of their fragility at the back.
Briefly Löw's side looked something approaching the side that had eased through a tough group, but with Philipp Lahm forced to his old haunt at full-back due to injuries, the game opened up once more.
Both goalkeepers could make fair claim to have been their side's best player - Manuel Neuer necessarily excelled in keeper-sweeper mode, Rais M'Bolhi's shot-stopping was superb. Neither side could find the deftness of finish required until the floodgates cracked in extra-time, but that only served to add to the drama. Thirty-two years late, Algeria's first World Cup knockout game was one of the most gripping this tournament has seen. It was worth the wait. Even if the result, like that in Gijón, will be looked back on with disappointment.