World Cup: England vs. Algeria (Match Day Commentary)

World Cup: England vs. Algeria (Match Day Commentary)

World Cup 2010

World Cup: England vs. Algeria (Match Day Commentary)

By

England Algeria

What does Group C have in store for an encore? England and Algeria are set to face off at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town to wrap up Friday's World Cup action (ESPN2/ESPN3.com, 2:30 p.m.) .

England has a chance to draw level on points with Slovenia at the top of the group, and have made a few changes from the side that faced the United States. David James will start in place of Robert Green, while a fit Gareth Barry gets the nod in the midfield.

Opponent Algeria will be in search of the upset today, hoping to dent the Three Lions' chances of advancing to the second round. They'll be without striker Abdelkader Ghezzal, sent off against Slovenia on Sunday, and 'keeper Faouzi Chaouchi, who was replaced by Rais M'Bohli.

I will be providing live commentary on today's match, so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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FULL TIME– Next Wednesday, it's all to play for. All the USA needs to do is beat Algeria to advance. That's all from me today. Leave any post match comments below, and be sure to keep checking SBI for all your World Cup needs.

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FULL TIME– Credit to Algeria. They kept their cool, made no mistakes and while they didn't come extremely close to winning, have to have confidence after this one.

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FULL TIME– Algeria 0, England 0. What a result for the United States. The Desert Foxes are now pushovers, and have kept their dim World Cup hopes alive. Meanwhile, England looked worse than they did a week ago against the USA. Who wants to advance from Group C?

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93rd minute– Algeria have won a free kick in a dangerous position. Late dramatics?

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91st minute– Three minutes of added time. Defoe shoots high.

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90th minute– Injury time starts now.

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89th minute– Djamel Mesbah is coming on for Yebda. Injury time right around the corner, both teams have used all three subs.

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87th minute– Four minutes to go. Rooney can't spring Wright-Phillips as the game nears the end.

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84th minute– Gareth Barry comes off, Peter Crouch, the minnow-killer, to come on. England service hasn't been all that great today, might not make a difference.

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83rd minute– Glen Johnson over hits a cross to no one. Sums up England's performance.

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81st minute– Ziani coming out, Adlane Guedioura his replacement. A defensive sub.

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79th minute– Better performance from the ref in today's match, though he's had little to do. Who's going to step up for either side?

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77th minute– Shouts for handball on a Terry shot, but the Algerian defender wasn't looking. Under 13 minutes to go, signs of life from England.

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75th minute– Defoe gets behind after some nice one-touch passing, but it's cleared for a corner.

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74th minute– Defoe coming in for Heskey, while Djamal Abdoun comes on for Boudebouz.

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73rd minute– Changes coming from both sides. Algeria looking to bunker down and earn a point, while England will turn to Jermaine Defoe.

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71st minute– Gerrard heads a corner straight to M'Bohli.

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69th minute– Can either side manage a goal? Algeria haven't made the most of dangerous set pieces, and England have barely been unable to create anything in this half either.

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67th minute– Barry takes a free kick, no one can get on the end of it. Sloppy Algerian clearance falls to Lampard, but he can't take advantage of it.

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64th minute– Algeria doing nothing more than passing the time. Not attacking as much and trying to maintain defensive cohesion. Terry sends an errant back pass that Matmour could have nabbed and been in on goal. James gets out for the clearance.

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62nd minute– Near miss. Lennon curls it in to Rooney, who can't get on the end of it. Sloppy defensive play from Algeria led to that chance. Shaun Wright-Phillips comes on for Lennon.

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61st minute– M'Bohli grabs the cross from a Gerrard corner. 30 minutes left in this one.

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59th minute– Yellow for Carragher. The central defender will miss England's next match and Algeria has a dangerous free kick. Yahia bashes it wide.

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57th minute– Rooney kills another attack. Cole finds him in the box, and the striker can't take get control of it.

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55rd minute– An errant pass from Ziani releases Gerrard, but his cut back is to no one, as Lampard and Rooney are making goal-crashing runs.

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53rd minute– Nothing better from this one. How soon til Capello puts in a sub?

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50th minute– Another strange decision on an Algerian free kick, who fire again into a pack of England bodies. Once again, the Desert Foxes are enjoying the better of the play.

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48th minute– Algeria earns a free kick but it doesn't beat the England wall.

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46th minute– Who steps up for the Three Lions? Rooney? Gerrard? Lampard? A lot of big names, but just one goal in a game and a half of soccer.

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45th minute– England start the second half.

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HALFTIME– England had the better chances in the first half. They obviously were told to test Rais M'Bohli, who has dealt with each shot with ease. Credit to Algeria, attacking down the left with Belhadj and Ziani while keeping shape in defense.

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HALFTIME– England 0, Algeria 0. The referee ends a dull half. England with few ideas, Algeria playing well enough to keep the Three Lions frustrated.

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45th minute– Into one minute of added time as Algeria more than happy to enter the half tied.

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43rd minute– Long range effort from Rooney dips and swerves but handled by M'Bohli.

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41st minute– Algeria content to keep the ball and head into the half at 0-0.

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39th minute– Barry has a go from outside the box, nothing doing as M'Bohli snares it.


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37th minute– Few ideas from England at the moment. Not doing much in possession, and only a couple of clear scoring chances have been created.

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35th minute– Miss by Ziani. Barry is stripped, Algeria breaks and the midfielder unleashes a blast wide of James' net.

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33rd minute– SAVE M'Bohli! A cross from Lennon is headed to a unmarked Lampard, who struggles to control it and M'Bohli gets his fingertips on the shot. Good save. Lampard mis-hit the shot a bit.

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32nd minute– Rooney's poor night continues. Slips when he could have triggered counter and before that turned it over in the midfield.

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30th minute– Save M'Bohli. Gerrard with a strong run forward, but a rather tame shot that is gobbled up by the Algerian 'keeper.

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29th minute– England do look best when Cole or Johnson gets forward. Of course, that opens them up for a counter.

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27th minute– Another matchup to watch: Rooney vs. Bougherra. The big center back wins a foul after a tussle with the forward.

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25th minute– Ziani looking brightest for the Desert Foxes. Small and quick, troubling the slower England defense.

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23rd minute– James with a smart take from an Algerian corner.

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22nd minute– Algeria on top right now. Working well in the midfield, possessing the ball and putting England under a bit of pressure. Nothing very dangerous at the moment, but it's a poor start for England.

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20th minute– Ziani with a good cross in that Yebda heads straight to James.

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19th minute– Algeria looking the more likely side to make something happen, as Carragher and Terry look to keep the Desert Foxes at bay.

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16th minute– Sloppy midfield play right now for England. Both sides need to get shots on goal, as neither goalie has looked all that convincing to this point.

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15th minute– Wayne Rooney has seen very little of the ball through 15 minutes.

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14th minute– Neither side looking particularly menacing so far. Algeria a bit better organized than their first game.

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12th minute– James with a nervy moment of his own, failing to clear his lines with a team punch, but England get away with it.

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10th minute– The Belhadj-Lennon battle will hopefully be one to watch. Both have pace in abundance and could make a difference going forward.

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9th minute– Gareth Barry draws a second early foul. His presence in the center of the midfield is expected to make a difference here.

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7th minute– Algeria work the ball around nicely in the midfield, and Ziani wins a corner. Comes to nothing, however.

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5th minute– Couple of dicey moments for M'Bolhi. First he almost misjudges a harmless, lofted ball into the area, then has a poor clearance straight to Rooney.

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3th minute– Ashley Cole wins a free kick on the right hand side. Gerrard whips in a good cross, but Heskey can't get a dangerous flick on and Algeria clears.

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2nd minute– Algeria might have three at the back. Hard to tell, and if they do, wonder how it will hold up against the English attack.

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1st minute– Game on! Algeria get things started.

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PRE-GAME– Trying to sort out Algeria's lineup — they've gone with no listed forward, opting to go with  Karim Matmour up top, who usually plays in an advance position anyways.

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PRE-GAME– Interesting to note that tonight is David James' World Cup debut, at the fresh age of 39.

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PRE-GAME– Any predictions for today's match?

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PRE-GAME– Surprised to see James in the starting lineup? Fabio Capello takes another risk by swapping goalies.

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PRE-GAME– How will today's referee perform? The first two matches haven't had the greatest officiating, Uzbekistan ref Ravshan Irmatov is the man in the middle today.

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PRE-GAME– Here's what U.S. fans want to see today: the Desert Foxes stealing at least a point today. That leaves the U.S. with its future in its own hands heading into next Wednesday's final game.

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PRE-GAME– Here are today's starting lineups:

ENGLAND

————–Rooney———–Heskey————-

Gerrard————————————Lennon

—————Lampard——–Barry——————

Cole—–Carragher—–Terry——-Johnson

———————-James—————————

ALGERIA

————–Matmour————————

Ziani—————-Kadir———Boudebouz

—————Lacen——–Yebda——————

Belhadj—–Bougherra—–Halliche——-Yahia

———————-M'Bolhi—————————

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