Algeria thrives on underdog tag

ALGERIA - Despite a 24-year absence from World Cup competition, Algeria is hoping its underdog status and freedom from the fear of failure will help it get through the group stage in South Africa in June.

ALGERIA - Despite a 24-year absence from World Cup competition, Algeria is hoping its underdog status and freedom from the fear of failure will help it get through the group stage in South Africa in June.

Algeria will take on England, the United States and Slovenia in Group C with the goal of reaching the second round for the first time.

The North African team has the lowest Fifa ranking of the four but can draw strength from the way it secured its World Cup berth at the expense of Egypt after a close-fought qualification campaign.

The Algerians had two players injured when their bus was pelted with stones by Egyptian fans before a qualifier in Cairo in November.

Algeria were then denied the top spot in the group by a goal five minutes into injury time that gave Egypt a 2-0 victory and left the teams equal on points, with an identical record of goals scored and conceded.

Algeria then won a playoff match between the two sides in Khartoum, Sudan, four days later to secure its passage to the World Cup.

Algeria will be the sole Arab representative in South Africa, with the country making only its third appearance at the tournament. - Sapa-AP

X