2010 FIFA World Cup: Algeria Starts Campaign in Horrendous Fashion

Mohamed Eldin MasriSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2010

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 13:  Karim Ziani of Algeria holds off Andraz Kirm of Slovenia during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Algeria and Slovenia at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 13, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Algeria have started their World Cup campaign in terrible fashion, by losing to Slovenia, the only team that Algeria could have beaten, statistically speaking.

With Slovenia at three points, and with England and the United States at one point each, Algeria are now favorites to be eliminated first, especially when you put into consideration the fact that they will play against England in the next game, and then the United States in the following game.

Does that mean that Algeria is guaranteed to be eliminated?

No, they still have a fragment of a chance at this moment, but they shouldn't hope for much.

First off, the Algerians must get at least one point from their encounter with England, which is going to be a very hard task, especially after England learned their weaknesses last night against the United States.

Algeria can only aim for six points now, but if they are fortunate, they can get away with four points and hope that it is enough to get them through to the second round.

Algeria hopes that the United States and Slovenia will get a draw against each other, and beats the United States while England beats Slovenia, and of course hopes that they can out-score Slovenia, should this scenario actually occur.

But for all this to actually matter, Algeria needs to draw against England, otherwise they're already out from the second game.

To make it against England, Algeria needs to forget about the terrible game they played against Slovenia, and their goalkeeper needs to get his act together. You can't exactly blame him alone for the result, but you can blame him for the goal the Algerians conceded, a similar error occurred against England yesterday, with Robert Green making a howler against the United States.

Les Fennecs need to play a defensive game, and play on the counter attack. They need to play using their strength while avoiding their weaknesses.

Algeria can take comfort in the fact that England struggled against the United States' physical play, and must use the fact that they are the most physical team in the group to their advantage. It doesn't matter how ugly they have to play to get points, as long as they get them.

Even if the United States wins against Slovenia, the Algerians would still have a chance, providing that they get at least a point against England. They'll have to beat the United States and out-score them, and hope that England beats Slovenia on the final match of the group stages.

All the Algerians can hope for at this moment is that Slovenia does not win any other games. If Slovenia draws with the States, Algerians will have to out-score them and beat the States.

If the U.S. wins, that might make things easier for Algeria, as long as they beat the States with a comforting scoreline.

Algerians already have nothing to lose, so it wouldn't be crazy to expect them to play an offensive game. If they play their cards right, then maybe they'll get to see the knockout stages, and that would be a great achievement for the Algerians already.