By TYLER GRAY
With second place in their group on the line Sunday, Algeria scored three goals in the first half, finding the back of the net a total of four times en route to a record-breaking result.
In the space of two minutes, Algeria went from fighting for a place in the round of 16 to firmly being in the driver’s seat. The Fennec Foxes scored in quick succession in the 26th and 28th minutes and never relinquished their two goal lead the rest of the way, beating South Korea 4-2 to take control of their Group H destiny.
What was supposed to be the undercard in Group H action today ended up being the far more exciting match with six total goals being scored in a 46-minute window.
A couple of close misses in the early minutes didn’t deter the North African side as they continued to press for the opener. They were rewarded in the 26th minute thanks to a brilliant individual effort by Islam Slimani.
It all started with a goal kick from Algeria that sailed all the way to the other end of the field. Slimani ran onto the kick and fought off the two South Korean defenders who were sandwiching him, tapping the ball over South Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong’s shoulder and into the net.
Just two minutes later Algeria would double their lead off a corner kick.
Rafik Halliche made a clever run through the box to free himself at the top of the six-yard box. the Algerian defender rose up to meet Abelmoumene Djabou’s corner, powering it into the back of the net, making it 2-0 and setting the hopes of Algeria ablaze.
Despite entering the half up 3-0, Algeria couldn’t celebrate just yet. South Korea scored two goals in the second half to keep things interesting.
The South Koreans scored twice with Son Heung-Min and Koo Ja-Cheol contributing to the goal fest.
However, Algeria’s speed was too much for the South Koreans, showcasing a quick and inventive approach in attack all match long. The perfect example came in Algeria’s fourth and final goal in the 62nd minute.
Yacine Brahimi played a short pass into Sofiane Feghouli who pinged a quick pass right back in a clever give-and-go. Brahimi calmly slotted the ball past a flailing Sung-Ryong and into the net.
With the 4-2 victory, Algeria becomes the first African nation to score four or more goals in a World Cup match. They now sit second in Group H with three points and will play their final match against group leaders, Belgium.