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Rankings: 26th-23rd-32nd-26th Results: 0-1 v. Slovenia, 0-0 v. England, 0-1 v. USA Next Match: eliminated How did I do? Slightly overestimated Algeria based on their intense
#29 of 32 from World Cup Power Rankings - Four by
Last Ranking: 32nd Results: 0-1 v. Slovenia, 0-0 v. England Next Match: USA Who saw the point against England coming? Well, I kind of did, in that I warned that Algeria could
#26 of 32 from World Cup Power Rankings - Three by
Last Ranking: 23rd Results: 0-1 v. Slovenia Next Match: England The match against Slovenia was likely a playoff to determine the third contender to advance from Group C, and
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Last Ranking: 26th Next Match: Slovenia Algeria's emotional battles with nemesis Egypt just to qualify mean that this is a team which should be ready for the World Cup. They won't
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Algeria will end a 24-year absence from football’s top table when they kick their first ball at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Les Fennecs (the Desert Foxes) may have won the CAF African Cup of Nations since appearing at Mexico 1986, but they spent a long time in the wilderness before slowly working their way back as a competitive force at the start of the century. The current crop of players feel stronger than ever, with enough belief to put in a historic performance in South Africa.

The road to South Africa
Until finally sealing their place via a one-off play-off match with Egypt in Khartoum, Sudan, on 18 November, Algeria both suffered and impressed in their qualifying campaign. They won all six of their home games in the second and third qualifying rounds but lost three of their away visits, while drawing twice and winning the other game. As a result, they finished one slender point ahead of Gambia, Senegal and Liberia in their first qualifying group, before ending on equal terms with the Pharaohs in their second, and bringing about the need for a play-off on neutral terrain. The duo nonetheless came in eight points ahead of Zambia and 11 ahead of Rwanda.

The star players
Scorer of the goal that took Les Fennecs through to South Africa, Antar Yahia is one of the pillars at the back for his team, a status he shares with Madjid Bougherra, Nadir Belhadj and goalkeeper Lounes Gaouaoui, although back-up custodian Fawzi Chaouchi is now making serious claims ...

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