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Algeria 1 - 0 Egypt

Yahia cracker seals play-off win

Algeria
AP
Algerian players celebrate the goal that sends them to the World Cup
Scoring Summary
Algeria Egypt
Anthar Yahia (39) 
Match Information
Stadium: Khartoum Stadium, Sudan
Attendance: 34,000
Match Time: 17:30 UK
Official(s):
Eddy Maillet (Referee)

Updated: November 18, 2009, 8:00 AM UK

Antar Yahia's spectacular goal earned Algeria the final African qualifying spot in next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

• Sudan clamp down on celebrations

The centre-half volleyed home five minutes before half-time and a solid rearguard effort in the second half kept out Egypt. Emad Meteab had the best chance for Egypt but was denied by impressive Algeria keeper Fawzi Chaouchi.

A capacity crowd filled the Khartoum Stadium in Sudan - with 5,000 more fans locked outside the ground.

Meteab's early mishit was easily gathered by Chaouchi and Algeria's Nadir Belhadj was booked inside the first minute after Ahmed Al-Muhammadi reacted theatrically to his foul.

Abdelkader Ghezzal saw a header saved by Egypt keeper Essam El Hadary before Mourad Meghni's challenge on Egypt skipper Ahmed Hassan in only the fourth minute sparked a mass flare-up which saw Hassan booked.

Abdel Zaher El Sakka's looping header saw Chaouchi leap to make the game's first serious save, before Yahia threatened at the other end after Ziani's free-kick sparked a scramble. El Hadary saved the defender's drive with his legs.

Belhadj went close from a free-kick after Rafik Saifi went down under Hassan's challenge. Incidents in the penalty area, centring around Zaki, delayed the taking of the kick near the corner flag, but the Portsmouth full-back eventually curled it goalwards and forced a surprised El Hadary to tip over.

Mohamed Aboutrika volleyed wide from the edge of the box and Hassan's free-kick was far too high, but Chaouchi made a superb save from Al-Muhammadi's angled effort following Belhadj's error.

Egypt, then, were claiming the upper hand - but it was Algeria who took the lead shortly afterwards. Ziani lofted a superb ball in and Yahia smashed a volley from a narrow angle in via the underside of the bar.

Belhadj produced a brilliantly calm piece of defending to snuff out the chance of an equaliser following Mansouri's miskick and Zaki headed wide as the half ended.

Egypt coach Hassan Shehata introduced Mohamed Zidan and Hosni Abd Rabou for Zaki and Fathi at half-time, before a scrappy start to the second period saw Ziani mistakenly booked for a foul by Madjid Bougherra, a rare error by referee Eddy Maillet from the Seychelles.

The half sprung into life, though, with chances at each end within a minute. First Hassan Yebda's cross was met by a fierce downward header from Ghezzal, only for El Hadary to save, and then Chaouchi brilliantly denied Meteab after Zidan tricked his way into the box but failed to get a shot away.

Rabah Saadane, in his fifth spell as Algeria coach, introduced defender Samir Zaoui in place of goalscorer Yahia as he sought to shore up the game.

Meteab was left on the ground in pain after being superbly denied by Chaouchi, but it was a rare sight of goal for Egypt as their final ball too often let them down.

Zidan went to ground seeking a penalty but was rightly ignored, and Chaouchi survived a late scare after missing a long ball under pressure from Aboutrika as Saadane's side held on.

  • Sudan clamp down on celebrations

    Sudan staged a security clampdown on Wednesday as Algerian fans celebrated victory in a tense match against Egypt which clinched Africa's last place in the 2010 World Cup finals.

    Thousands of Egyptian and Algerian fans flew in for the play-off in Khartoum which Algeria won 1-0. Police feared a repeat of violence around Saturday's match between the two rivals in Cairo, when 20 Algerian fans were injured and three players suffered cuts after Egyptians stoned their team bus.

    Jubilant Algerians waved flags and fireworks, and drove through the streets of the Sudanese capital cheering their first qualification for the World Cup finals in almost quarter of a century.

    "There is no happiness in the world more than this," said Algerian cook Farid Nimeiri working in the hotel hosting his national team.

    Fans said it was a tight game and they would now apply for visas to South Africa, which will host the 2010 finals.

    "Technically speaking it was a very poor game ... because there was a lot of pressure on the players on both sides," said Farouk Eouaou who came from Dubai for the match.

    Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra said the team had won "justice." Coach Rabah Saadane said he was exhausted but was happy the mission was over.

    At least five fans were stretchered away with minor injuries during celebrations, witnesses said.
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    Wednesday, November 18, 2009
    Algeria 1
    Egypt 0 FT