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.


Anonymous said...

Morocco also beat Portugal 3-1 in Mexico '86 was it?

Anonymous said...

I remember this match very clearly, we were living in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, and all Gulf countries except Qatar boycotted the match because of the Israeli referee. We spent the whole time turning the antenna to get the best reception, which despite all our efforts was not good, and we could only hear the sound, the picture would go on and off. Despite all of that, it was a joyous and memorable night.
For those (like me) old enough to remember, in the Chile match, Algeria was up 3-0 until the last 15 or 30 minutes. I think they put their guard down and conceded the two goals, had it remained 3-0 or even 3-1? f**k, I still get pissed just thinking about it and what the bloody Germans did.
The other shocker in that Mondial was the loss of the best Brazilian team (make that the best team) ever to Italy. Those were the days!
Thank you Hareega for bringing up these memories

Anonymous said...

Actually, it is very true that Arabs should refer to that world cup as the cup of shame.
While Palestinians were under seige in Beirut and while Zionists were at the doorsteps of an Arab capital, Arabs were doing their thing following the all too important football matches.

I quote (Al rafeeq al shaheed) George 7awi, when he said that the palestinians and their lebanese comrmrades and brothers in arms were holding against the seige, waiting for the arabs to erupt in their support, they realized that the arabs are down in the streets alright, celebrating the useless win against germany.

twenty four years and six world cups later and the situation is the same, actually worse.

Go abu s3ood, shock the world.
Good times.

Anonymous said...

Hey Fares, by the way, nothing personal, I never miss a game myself.

Anonymous said...

th14... true, but algeria's victory was over a world class team. Morocco left a bigger impression because they were the first Arabic and African team to ever qualify to the second round.

jameel.. Algeria was a bit lucky not to end up with a 3-3 draw against Chile but if the match ended 3-0 they would have made it to the second round. I was too young to watch Brasil in 1982 but I remember them in 86 and their game against France, that was something !

musa... we can't blame footbal for that, we should blame the Arabs themselves. If it wasn't for football it would have been something else to distract Arabs away from Palestine (raggasa,jalset ons....etc)

Remember that other countries had problems that thery took care of but they are still crazy about soccer.

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