Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria

12 Jan

Malawi v Algeria (Source: Getty images)

Malawi v Algeria (Source: Getty images)

With the thrills and spills of last night’s opening match, the pressure was on minnows Malawi and World Cup participants Algeria to carry on the carnival in Luanda’s November 11th Stadium. It was sure to be a great game to round up Group A and give some indication about how the group will shape up in the next 3 weeks. It’s a shame the turnout could not parallel that of last night’s success, as the players took to the pitch to stifled applause. It seems a 50,000-seater is only a good idea if you can fill it.

I heard this rumour that the organisers of the tournament in Egypt (2006) ruled that if a game was not sold out, they would give the tickets away to the army who then made it their business to don the troops with appropriate colours and take up empty seats, cheering for the respective team! A bit unorthodox yes, but I’m sure either a reduction in ticket prices or some other marketing gimmick could be cooked up to prevent a lack of atmosphere in an otherwise impressive venue.

As it was, a smattering of loyal supporters  turned up to cheer on the contenders who could blow this group wide open. In light of last night’s 4 – 4 draw, both Angola and Mali now have a goal difference of 0 if the group has to be decided on results against, and a -4 goals against if the group ends up otherwise equal! I’m sure I’m thinking in “if and but” terms a little early, but after last night, I’m taking nothing for granted. Either way it must have played on the 2 manager’s minds at least a little in the knowledge that a good win would leave the victors in a very strong a position at the same time applying that little extra bit of pressure on Angola and Mali.

The game started well with both teams looking strong and confident. It was clear from early on that Algeria was to be the aggressor as they held the lion’s share of possession. The Malawians were not going to be pushed around or played into submission, but held their shape extremely well and countered when possible, coming close on a couple of occasions. Algeria’s Ghezzal was full of running and came close early on, only to be matched by his opposite number, Russel, at the other end moments later.

Then came the first shock of the day. From a nothing ball, sent route 1 from within the Malawian half, which Russel tried in vain to bring under his spell, Algerian keeper, Chaochi, came flying out not bothering to give his defender a shout. The ensuing confusion meant he was trying to clear the ball while evading his defender. The result: he hit the onrushing Kanyenda in the chest and the ball fell kindly for Russel, who had the presence to continue his run and smash the ball into the net from a tight angle and passed the defender who had just about made it back onto the line. 1 – 0

Algeria responded and nearly equalised 10 minutes later, only to find themselves further behind moments later. A well rehearsed short corner, caught the Algerian defence napping and a powerful cross was wonderfully whipped into the near post. All Kafoteka had to do was make contact and the ball was in the net. 2 – 0

Algeria were clearly rocked and grateful for the halftime whistle.

The second half started pretty much where the first left off with Algeria looking to get a foothold in the game. But with every counter attack, the Malawians grew in confidence and kept streaming forward. They were soon rewarded for their endeavour. After some sloppy goal keeping, again by Chaochi, a perhaps too-well struck shot came straight back off the post, ricocheted about the area and ended up at the feet of Banda who made sure, shooting hard and low. 3 – 0

With the game seemingly secure (you can never be too sure), Malawi took no chances and pressed on. The Algerians on the other hand, spent more time looking for penalties and free kicks, instead of actually trying to create chances.

The final whistle blew and hardly anyone could believe it. In a complete reversal of scores when the teams last met at the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations, Malawi became, I dare say, the first Davids to Algeria’s Goliath, in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

Malawi lead the group with a 3-goal advantage, when they were tipped to be the whipping boys of the group. The first scalp has been claimed. Is Group A the group we should really be watching?

Man of the Match: hard to pick one man as Malawi simply did a great collective job on the Algerians. I’ll say Kanyenda as he was involved in the goals and put in a good shift in the scorching heat.

Goal of the Match: it was going to be Kafoteka’s header, but when I saw how much work Russel still had to do, it has to be his.

Have your say: We’d love to hear what you think and who you think should be Man of the Match and who scored the Goal of the Match. Pit yourself against our football expert now.

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4 Responses to “Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa | Drakz News Station - January 12, 2010

    […] the original post here: Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa Share and […]

  2. Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa | algertoday - January 12, 2010

    […] to don the troops with appropriate colours and … Read more from the original source: Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa Share and […]

  3. Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa | malawitoday - January 12, 2010

    […] the original post here:  Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa Share and […]

  4. Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa | Algeria news - January 14, 2010

    […] the original post: Day 2: Malawi vs Algeria « Out of Africa Share and […]

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