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Algeria: Defeat by USA Brings the Country Back to Earth

Algerians went from hope to disillusion as they realized that patriotism alone isn't enough to win football matches. Indeed, their dreams were dashed on Wednesday in Pretoria, South Africa, when the U.S. soccer team beat them at the FIFA World Cup by 1 goal to nil, hence eliminating them from the competition.

Algerian bloggers have been commenting on the defeat, like Aberrahmane who writes [Fr]:

Durant cette coupe du monde en Afrique du Sud, les Algériens ont concédé deux défaites et un petit match nul en trois rencontres. L’Algérie est la seule équipe qui a réussi l’exploit en n’inscrivant aucun but en cette coupe du monde.

En raison du niveau très faible du football en Algérie, l’entraineur a été contraint de faire appel aux joueurs évoluant à l’étranger. C’est grâce à ces joueurs que l’Algérie a réussi à se qualifier pour la coupe d’Afrique et la coupe du monde mais ne pourrait pas aller plus loin.

During the world cup in South Africa, Algerians conceded two defeats and a small draw in three games. Algeria is the only team that managed not to score a single goal in this World Cup.

Due to the very low level of football in Algeria the coach was forced to call on players from abroad. These players have led Algeria to qualify to the African Cup and the World Cup but could not help it go further.

Le Montagnard commented [Fr] harshly on his country's defeat considering that Algeria is leaving the World Cup deprived of any honors:

Le rendement de l’équipe est médiocre. Seul un nul est réalisé face à la sélection anglaise. Les joueurs comme Ziani, Djebour et autres sortent de la petite porte. Car depuis des mois ils n’ont pas joué avec leurs clubs

The team performance is poor. They only managed a draw against the English team. Players like Ziani, Djebour and others are leaving the competition from the back door. This is no surprise since they have not played with their clubs for months.

Djalla Namri is obviously disappointed. He questions [Fr] the preparation of the Algerian team prior to the World Cup:

Alors là la question : Qu'est-ce qu'on est allé faire in South Africa?
La réponse est: el mouhim el moucharaka (l’essentiel c’est la participation) !!!!
Au passage, on signe un tas de contrats publicitaires et on laisse des millions de supporters avec cette lumineuse explication: on n'a pas d'attaque.

So the question that remains is: What did we go to South Africa for?
The answer given is: El Mouhim al Musharaka (the important is to participate)!!
We signed a lot of advertising contracts but left millions of supporters with this explanation: we had no attack.

Despite the elimination of their team from the World Cup, Algerians have been paying tribute to their goalkeeper M'bolhi as stressed by blogger R.Z. [Fr]:

Le gardien des Verts, M'bolhi a été, sans conteste le meilleur Algérien sur le terrain. Il faut dire qu'il a évité à notre équipe une lourde défaite, grâce à ses interventions décisives et ses arrêts qui ont été salutaires pour l'arrière-garde de l'Algérie frileuse devant les attaques américaines. Bons placements, bonne lecture du jeu, de l'engagement, du sang froid, mais surtout de l'humilité…

The goalkeeper of the Greens, M'Bolhi, was undoubtedly the best Algerian on the pitch. It must be acknowledged that he has avoided his team a heavy defeat thanks to his interventions and decisive judgments that proved beneficial to the rather shaky Algerian defense against the United States attacks. M'Bolhi chose the right positions, showed good play, commitment, cold blood, and above all great humility.

Algeria's Goalkeeper Disappointed by Loss

Another blogger, Khalid Mimoune, also salutes [Ar] the Algerian goalkeeper. He writes:

Je salue le gardien de buts Rais M’bolhi qui m’a étonné par son jeu, sa concentration et sa résistance face aux attaquants lors des deux rencontres avec les Américains et les Anglais.

I salute goalkeeper Rais M'bolhi who surprised me with his game, his concentration and resistance to attacks during our encounters with the Americans and the English.

Journalist Ithri Belateche concludes saying [Fr]:

Maintenant que le foot et la coupe du monde n'a plus aucun intérêt pour nous, revenant à notre quotidien et parlons du chômage, de la pauvreté, de la délinquance, du ciment, des Harragas, de la corruption et du terrorisme, bref ; la routine. Mais tout ça sans – tout de même -jeter l'emblème national au fond du placard.

Now that the competition is over and that we have no interest in the football World Cup anymore, let's go back to our lives and talk about unemployment, poverty, crime, cement, Harragas (clandestine immigrants), corruption and terrorism. In short let's go back to routine, but let us also not throw and hide the national emblem in the closet.

Original article written in French by Mohamed Benderouiche and translated into English by Hisham.

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