If anything was to convince you of just how emotional football can be you should look no further than yesterday’s Russia v Algeria match. The Algerian squad qualified for the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in their history. They did come close before, but that was in 1982 and was the year of the now infamous Germany v Austria match that ended 1-0 to the Germans.

Back then, with Algeria having played their final group game the day before, the Germans and Austrians knew that a narrow German win would mean both teams qualify at the expense of Algeria. The game was so controversial that it was this year that FIFA decided to play the last group games at the same time to avoid any further incidents like this.

Those memories were banished last night with a 1-1 draw against Russia. The emotion poured out of the fans and players as the final whistle went and they realised that they had made it through. Ironically they will play Germany in the next round. Will they be out for revenge? Their manager has suggested they might be…

 

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