"We haven't forgotten," said Algeria's Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodžić when reminded that the Desert Foxes defeated Germany 2-1 in the 1982 FIFA World Cup group stage. Thirty-two years on, Algeria are preparing for a rematch with the Mannschaft after Halilhodžić guided them into the knockout phase for the first time on Thursday.
Sporting Clube de Portugal striker Islam Slimani rose highest on the hour mark to cancel out Aleksandr Kokorin's early opener and frustrate Russia. It was a golden point for Les Verts, who pipped Fabio Capello's team to second place and set up a last-16 contest with three-time world champions Germany on Monday in Porto Alegre (kick-off 22.00CET).
Revenge will be on German minds after Jupp Derwall's side succumbed to Algeria in Gijon at Spain '82. Rabah Madjer and Lakhdar Belloumi did the damage for Rachid Mekhloufi's men, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge having levelled a minute before Belloumi's winner.
The victory is forever etched into the consciousness of Algerian football. "We still speak all the time about this game, and now history is repeated," said former LOSC Lille, Stade Rennais FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Trabzonspor AŞ and GNK Dinamo Zagreb coach Halilhodžić.
The 61-year-old is now hoping for a repeat of a result which was the most celebrated in the country's football history – until Thursday. "It's a joy which cannot be expressed in words," explained the ex-Yugoslavia striker, who took charge of the north African side in 2011. "Algeria produced a heroic performance and deserve to go though. Our improvement has been huge in the last three years."
Halilhodžić is renowned for being firm with his players and reportedly possesses a penchant for stern team talks, but tears streamed at the final whistle at Arena de Baixada as he hugged players and staff. "It's nice to see a team fighting like this," he said. There is little doubt that his charges will show the same spirit against Germany.
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