Slovenia have jumped to the top of Group C with a narrow 1-0 win over ten man Algeria in Polokwane.
Slovenia: 1 (Robert Koren 79’)
Venue: Peter Mokaba Stadium - Polokwane
Referee: Carlos Batres (GUA)
Yellow cards: ALG - Abdelkader Ghezzal 59’, 73’, Hassan Yebda 90+5’
SVN - Aleksandar Radosavljevic 35’, Andrej Komac 90+3’
Red cards: Abdelkader Ghezzal 73’
On a fine day in Polokwane a day after England and USA’s Group C opening match draw, Algeria and Slovenia produced a tight battle in the first half which brought about limited direct goalscoring chances but the intent was obvious with both coaches deploying offensive tactics and urging their players to get forward.
Three points and the top of Group C were there for the taking and the Algerian hopes took a dent with 17 minutes remaining when Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off after being shown a second yellow card despite coming on as a 58th minute substitute. The Siena striker was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball when he stretched to try and control it in his own attacking area but referee Carlos Batres had to bring out the red to reduce Algeria to ten men.
It only spurred Rabah Saadane’s men on, however, as they came close to a winner with about ten minutes remaining but that all changed when Slovenia’s captain Robert Koren curled a shot from outside the area past Faouzi Chaouchi who should have done much better with a fairly moderately struck shot. The goal put Algeria in a very precarious position with a man down and only a limited amount of time and it proved to be too much of a task as Slovenia secured all three points.
Faouzi Chaouchi (gk), Madjid Bougherra, Nadir Belhadj, Antar Yahia, Rafik Halliche, Mehdi Lacen, Rafik Djebbour (Ghezzal 58’), Karim Matmour (Saifi 81’), Karim Ziani, Hassan Yebda, Foued Kadir (Guedioura 82’)
Subs - Abdelkader Ghezzal (58’), Rafik Saifi (81’), Adlene Guedioura (82’)
Samir Handanovic (gk), Miso Brecko, Marko Suler, Bostjan Cesar, Robert Koren, Valter Birsa (Pecnik 84’), Milivoje Novakovic, Bojan Jokic, Zlatko Dedic (Ljubijankic 53’), Andraz Kirm, Aleksandar Radosavljevic (Komac 87’)
Subs - Zlatan Ljubijankic (53’) Nejc Pecnik (84’), Andrej Komac (87’)