Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The day Arabs shook the world
Germany was Europe's Champions. They came the the World Cup in 1982 in Spain very confident, energetic and well-determined to win the World Cup.
In the opening match they had to face Algeria, which at that time had never qualifed to the world cup and never won any African or Arabic title and were considered one of the weakest team in that championship.
The Germans, being Germans, didn't want to take a chance and they started the game with all big stars, including Rummenigge, Littbarski, Breitner and behind them Toni Schumacher. The Algerians were a group of unprofessional players but they've been playing all together since 1979.
The game started and the Algerians stood strong against the German giants, ending the first half 0-0. With the second half starting, Algeria took its chance and started attacking, and to the surprise of everyone Rabeh Madjer scored the first goal in the 54th minute. The German fired back and Rummenigge scored the equalizer in the 68th minute.
In less than sixty seconds, Salah Assad made a magic pass to Lakhdar Belloumi who placed the goal into the Schumacher's net. Score..... Algeria 2, Germany 1.
Germany tried and tried but they couldn't score, and amidst the astonishment and anger of German players, the game ended in one of the biggest shockers in Football's history, with the new-comers from Algeria turning football on its heads and achieving a victory that was not in the tournament's scripts over Europe's Champions.
Algeria, despite its loss in the second game against Austria 2-0, was supposed to qualify to the second round after defeating Chile 3-2. The only way that they couldn't qualify was with the possible scenario of Germany defeating Austria with a one-goal difference in the game next day.
So next day, the match of shame took place. Germany scored a goal in the 10th minute and then both teams kicked the ball around each other aimlessly and the unspoken agreement between the two Germanic teams was obvious, making the Spanish crowd even the German and Austrain ones chant "Fuera, Fuera" (Out, Out) . In the end Austria and Germany qualified and the better team, Algeria, went back home with a sweet memory of a team of hard-working players who played good football and didn't fear a bunch of players with huge names and scanty manners.